RISK, PERSISTENCE and FOCUS: A LIFE CYCLE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR

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Abstract

Adapting a life cycle model from managerial literature, conclusions are drawn about the nature of colonial entrepreneurship from a case analysis of 133 New Zealand entrepreneurs, active between 1880 and 1910. Five stages in the life cycle of the entrepreneur are investigated: preparation, embarkation, exploration, expansion and transformation. Characteristic behaviours observed include the prevalence of entrepreneurial partnerships; a propensity for commencing multiple business ventures; and persistence in the face of business failure. Strategically, the colonial entrepreneur leveraged personal skills and abilities as a modus operandi for business expansion, often relying on family ownership and family management structures.

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