Opportunity development as a learning process for entrepreneurs

Purpose ? To contrast and test two conceptualisations of entrepreneurship: ?opportunity discovery? and ?opportunity development?.Design/methodology/approach ? Following the development of a conceptual framework for the study, an investigation was conducted through semi?structured interviews with the founders and managing directors of 20 start?up ventures in the Swedish mobile internet industry.Findings ? The study illustrates how entrepreneurial learning can be understood from the perspective of ?opportunity development?. This conceptualisation of opportunity incorporates market interaction and real?life processes influenced by prior knowledge, resources, and the industrial context. It is especially appropriate in situations characterised by uncertainty. The alternative conceptualisation of opportunity (in terms of ?opportunity discovery?) is more suitable in situations of low risk when initial opportunity perceptions are comprehensive, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on their products and services, rather than on potential customers and/or appropriation in the market.Research limitations/implications ? The study concerns one industry undergoing substantial changes during a specific period, which limits the generalisability of the findings.Practical implications ? Entrepreneurs might do well to launch ventures based on comprehensive opportunity perceptions.Originality/value ? The paper takes a novel approach to the discussion of opportunity in entrepreneurship.

Journal or Publication:
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Stefan A Sanz-Velasco
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