Small Business Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 153–173 | Cite as

Opportunity Identification and Pursuit: Does an Entrepreneur’s Human Capital Matter?

  • Deniz Ucbasaran
  • Paul Westhead
  • Mike Wright


Extending human capital approaches to entrepreneurship, an entrepreneur’s “inputs” relating to their general (i.e. education and work experience) and entrepreneurship-specific human capital profile (i.e. business ownership experience, managerial capabilities, entrepreneurial capabilities and technical capabilities) are presumed to be related to entrepreneurial “outputs” in the form of business opportunity identification and pursuit. Valid and reliable independent variables were gathered from a stratified random sample of 588 owners of private firms. Ordered logit analysis was used to test several theoretically derived hypotheses. With regard to the number of business opportunities identified and pursued, entrepreneurship-specific rather than general human capital variables “explained” more of the variance. Entrepreneurs reporting higher information search intensity identified significantly more business opportunities, but they did not pursue markedly more or less opportunities. The use of publications as a source of information was positively associated with the probability of identifying more opportunities, while information emanating from personal, professional and business networks was not. Implications for practitioners and researchers are discussed.


entrepreneurship-specific human capital general human capital information search opportunity identification and pursuit 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham University Business SchoolNottinghamUK

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