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The entrepreneurial tradition: Institutionalized in a Culture and in a Family. Navigation from Gold to Green

The navigation from gold to green in entrepreneurial life led us to pose this question: how is tradition in society and the entrepreneurial tradition in the family affecting entrepreneurial funding, entrepreneurial mindset, and entrepreneurial practices?

Mahsa Samsami

PhD Candidate

Mahsa Samsami will defend the thesis “The entrepreneurial tradition: Institutionalized in a Culture and in a Family. Navigation from Gold to Green»  for the PhD degree 29 August 2023.

Samsami has followed the Ph.D. programme at the School of Business and Law.

Summary of the thesis:

In entrepreneurial life, having enough money and capital is controversial. The tie between business angels and entrepreneurial funding is of importance. Funding happens either for family members, relatives, co-workers, friends or strangers. Funding occurs in a social context such as institutions and culture. However, the entrepreneurial life will not end with money. Entrepreneurially minded individuals perceive entrepreneurial opportunities, take risks in starting a venture, and have confidence in their ability to run it. The entrepreneurial mindset is likely also to be more salient among certain entrepreneurs who share demographic features in contrast to others. It is obvious that gaps in the entrepreneurial mindset such as that between genders may not be the same across contexts, notably across societies and across cultures. The temporal context also affects the entrepreneurial mindset when situations of the environment get worse during a health disruption. Following the health disruption, the lens of family enterprising is also of importance. It is the lens of family enterprising that can lead entrepreneurial tradition to entrepreneurial practice, particularly green entrepreneurial practice. The navigation from gold to green in entrepreneurial life led us to pose this question: how is tradition in society and the entrepreneurial tradition in the family affecting entrepreneurial funding, entrepreneurial mindset, and entrepreneurial practices?

This navigation is from a representative sample from 2001 up to recovery time, 2022. We analyze different datasets. Foremost, for micro-level analyses of behavior of individuals – individuals and businesses – I use the Adult Population Survey (APS) by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, GEM. For some macro-level measures of national context, I use the National Expert Survey (NES) by GEM. For some other macro-level measures of national context, we use the World Values Survey. For yet other macro-level measures of national context, I use the World Bank indicators.

Entrepreneurial funding is found to be given to close family as often in secular-rational culture as in traditional culture, but entrepreneurial funding is granted extended family and friends more often in traditional than in secular-rational culture. Conversely, entrepreneurial funding is provided for strangers more often in secular-rational culture than in traditional culture. Individuals’ entrepreneurial mindset is enhanced by institutions in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The pandemic disruption caused declines in opportunity perception and risk-willingness. Society’s institution of family enterprising promotes a value of entrepreneurial tradition in families. The value of an entrepreneurial tradition promotes green entrepreneurial practice, here engagement with social and environmental responsibility.

These findings contribute to theorizing about the socio-cultural context of funding for entrepreneurial enterprising. Culture seems to play a role in the growth or failure of promising ideas. Our findings suggest that business angels in traditional culture are likely to need to learn to better utilize weak relationships for more opportunities, since close relationships can greatly limit opportunity recognition. Findings contribute to women’s entrepreneurship, specifically concerning how the mindset is shaped by gender roles, as gender roles are formed in exosystemic and temporal contexts. Findings contribute to understanding the ethical value of an entrepreneurial tradition in family as this value is embedded in society’s institution of enterprising by families, and as the value shapes green entrepreneurial practice.

Find more information about time and place for the doctoral defense.