Small Business Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 285–300 | Cite as

The Discovery of Opportunities: Extending the Economic Theory of the Entrepreneur

  • Mark Casson
  • Nigel Wadeson


Shane (2003) [A General Theory of Entrepreneurship: The Individual-Opportunity Nexus. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar] has shown convincingly that modern theories of entrepreneurship perform reasonably well in explaining the empirical results obtained in different areas of research upon the subject. His book also shows that the cognitive aspects of entrepreneurship in general—and opportunity recognition in particular—are important areas that warrant further research. This paper argues that the concept of opportunity is closely related to the concept of a project, as an opportunity is essentially a project that would prove beneficial if it were exploited. It is suggested that modelling individual search across potential projects, and the screening of projects by the use of symptoms, holds the key to the successful modelling of entrepreneurship in terms of opportunity.


opportunity project discovery 

JEL Classifications

L26 M13 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Institutional PerformanceUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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