Contemporary entrepreneurial research has experienced the shift from examining various characteristics of (nascent) entrepreneurs to investigating career pathways that lead to entrepreneurship and future career trajectories unleashed by entrepreneurial decisions. The proposed project complements such career perspective on entrepreneurship with the economic geography perspective on spatial mobility as a knowledge accumulation mechanism.
In particular, the project will employ quantitative studies of microdata coming from Swedish firm and individual registers with an in-depth survey of Swedish firms to investigate pre-entry careers of firm founders with a particular focus given to their spatial biographies (i.e., the history of pre-entry spatial mobility). Since broader spatial biographies expose individuals to learning opportunities across a variety of geographic settings, they may have a positive impact on individuals’ ability to recognise and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities in different regional markets. It is, therefore, hypothesised that the pre-entry spatial biographies regulate individuals’ propensity for entrepreneurship as well as the performance and societal impact of firms that they initiate.
The project will test this hypothesis to advance our understanding of the role of pre-entry spatial mobility of entrepreneurs in shaping the competitive performance and societal impact of new firms.