Business Owner Demography, Human Capital, and Social Networks

Martin Ruef, Bart Bonikowski, Howard E. Aldrich

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    While early work on the topic of entrepreneurship tended to portray entrepreneurs as heroic individuals (e.g., see Raines & Leathers, 2000, on Schumpeter’s description), more recent perspectives have come to recognize that new business activity is often initiated by groups of startup owners. Starting in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a new generation of scholars in the entrepreneurship field called for a systematic program of research that would document the prevalence of startup teams, describe their properties, and assess their impact on business performance (e.g., Gartner, Shaver, Gatewood, & Katz, 1994; Kamm, Shuman, Seeger, & Nurick, 1990). In a review of developments in entrepreneur research and theory, Gartner et al. (1994) noted that “the ‘entrepreneur’ in entrepreneurship is more likely to be plural, rather than singular” (p. 6). They offered an expansive definition of startup teams, which included owners, investors, organizational decision-makers, family members, advisors, critical suppliers, and buyers as possible candidates for the role of “entrepreneur.”

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationInternational Studies in Entrepreneurship
    Number of pages20
    StatePublished - 2009

    Publication series

    NameInternational Studies in Entrepreneurship
    ISSN (Print)1572-1922
    ISSN (Electronic)2197-5884


    • Business Owner
    • Functional Diversification
    • Institutional Owner
    • Nascent Entrepreneur
    • Network Constraint

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
    • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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