When Contingency Is a Resource: Educating Entrepreneurs in the Balkans, the Bronx, and Beyond

The research project described in this paper began as an inductive field study of entrepreneurship education in two very different settings—a university in war-torn Eastern Croatia and an entrepreneurship program in inner-city high schools in the United States. It evolved into a study of the two unlikely entrepreneurs who founded these education initiatives. Through a detailed counterfactual analysis of the narratives on the programs’ founding and evolution, we offer compelling evidence for the role of contingency in the entrepreneurial process. We present an inductive conceptual framework of responses to contingency based on entrepreneurs’ beliefs about agency and environment and conclude with implications of this research for entrepreneurship education.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice
Susan S Harmeling
Saras Sarasvathy
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