Small Business Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 619–637 | Cite as

Entrepreneurial readiness in the context of national systems of entrepreneurship

  • R. Sandra SchilloEmail author
  • Ajax Persaud
  • Meng Jin


This study contributes to the emerging stream of literature on national systems of entrepreneurship by investigating the importance of systemic contingencies between individual-level and country-level variables. Specifically, we develop the concept of entrepreneurial readiness as a factor consisting of four items relating to individuals’ skills, fear of failure, social connectedness, and opportunity perception. The results indicate that this entrepreneurial readiness construct is a more parsimonious and cogent representation of individual-level characteristics than several loosely connected individual traits. Moreover, we demonstrate that entrepreneurial readiness has substantial explanatory power with regard to individuals’ entrepreneurial intention. Individuals’ entrepreneurial intentions are also influenced by several dimensions of the national environment such that entrepreneurial readiness and these national environmental conditions are mutually reinforcing. These findings lend support to the importance of viewing entrepreneurship from a systems perspective and underscore the importance of institutional conditions in fostering entrepreneurship.


National system of entrepreneurship Multilevel analysis Entrepreneurial readiness Institutional pillars (regulative, normative, cognitive, and conducive) 

JEL Classifications

L26 L53 O38 O57 


Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Telfer School of Management and Institute for Science, Society and PolicyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Telfer School of ManagementUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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