An exploration of entrepreneurs' identities and business growth

Yuksel Ekinci, Sianne Gordon-Wilson, Adrian Slade

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    The purpose of this study is to understand whether types of identity are more likely to be present before and during business growth. This study collects data from six entrepreneurs and adopts an interpretivist approach using Van Gennep’s theory of transitions to explore the challenges faced by entrepreneurs after start-up and during business growth. The findings show that business growth challenges an entrepreneur through their identities, as they aspire to achieve their personal goals and reach self-fulfilment. These multiple identities consist of entrepreneurial, manager, personal, and social identities, along with their role within the business. This research concludes by discussing the managerial implications for entrepreneurs and policy makers. It recommends for entrepreneurs to receive a combination of personal and business support, especially during more uncertain, highly pressured, and more complex times.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalBusiness Horizons
    Early online date28 Feb 2020
    Publication statusEarly online - 28 Feb 2020


    • Entrepreneurs
    • Business Growth
    • Identity
    • Identity Transitions


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