Small Business Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 5–22 | Cite as

Access (Not) Denied: The Impact of Financial, Human, and Cultural Capital on Entrepreneurial Entryin the United States

  • Phillip H. KimEmail author
  • Howard E. Aldrich
  • Lisa A. Keister


Entrepreneurship contributes to business dynamics in all economies, and the individual benefits of starting a business are clear. Nonetheless, access to business start-ups may not be available to all people because of resource constraints. Using a unique new data set for the United States, we examine the relative importance of three forms of resources in pursuing start-up ventures: financial, human, and cultural capital. Our analysis of the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics shows that neither financial nor cultural capital resources are necessary conditions for entrepreneurial entry. By contrast, potential entrepreneurs gain significant advantages if they possess high levels of human capital. Specifically, advanced education and managerial experience are significantly positively associated with entrepreneurial entry. Our findings suggest that attempts at entering entrepreneurship, at least in the short-term, may be increasing, as opportunities to acquire human capital are becoming more widespread.

Key words

Entrepreneurial entry nascent entrepreneur financial resources human capital cultural capital 

JEL classification

C21 J23 J24 M13 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Phillip H. Kim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Howard E. Aldrich
    • 1
  • Lisa A. Keister
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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