Life course pathways to business start-up

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2014


We explore how socially embedded life courses of individuals within Britain affect the resources they have available and their capacity to apply those resources to start-up. We propose that there will be common pathways to entrepreneurship from privileged resource ownership and test our propositions by modelling a specific life course framework, based on class and gender. We operationalize our model employing 18 waves of the British Household Panel Survey and event history random effect logistic regression modelling. Our hypotheses receive broad support. Business start-up in Britain is primarily made from privileged class backgrounds that enable resource acquisition and are a means of reproducing or defending prosperity. The poor avoid entrepreneurship except when low household income threatens further downward mobility and entrepreneurship is a more attractive option. We find that gendered childcare responsibilities disrupt class-based pathways to entrepreneurship. We interpret the implications of this study for understanding entrepreneurship and society and suggest research directions.

Published in

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 26 , p.282 -312






Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only

Online in Albert Sloman Library, except current 12 months



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