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Is entrepreneurship a teachable profession?

An examination of the effects of entrepreneurship education and experience1


Julian Lange
Edward Marram
David Brown
Joel Marquis
William Bygrave
Babson College
ABSTRACT
We examined the conflicting claims of Schumpeter, who stated that entrepreneurship is not a
profession, and Drucker, who wrote that entrepreneurship is a discipline that can be learned (and
presumably taught). We studied the effects of an entrepreneurs education and experience on the
startup and subsequent operating performance of a new venture. Taking entrepreneurship
courses enhanced the amount of startup capital raised, but real-world experience enhanced it
more. However, neither taking entrepreneurship courses nor learning how to write a business
plan had any effect on the subsequent operating performance of the business. Previous
entrepreneurship experience enhanced the amount of startup capital raised but did not improve
the operating performance. In contrast, professional experience in generalrather than
entrepreneurship-specificgained after graduation before starting a business improved operating
performance.

INTRODUCTION
Schumpeter (1934) stated that entrepreneurship is not a profession and that being an entrepreneur
is not a lasting condition; whereas Drucker (1985) claimed that entrepreneurship is a discipline
that can be learned. To investigate these conflicting claims we studied 375 serial entrepreneurs
and 538 one-time entrepreneurs who are alumni Babson College, a leading entrepreneurship
school. We were particularly interested in two of an entrepreneurs most important human
assets: education and experience. We reasoned that if entrepreneurship is a profession or
discipline then basic entrepreneurial skills can be learned in school and enhanced with real-world
experience as a practicing entrepreneur.
LITERATURE SUMMARY
The literature that is most relevant to our study deals with the relationship between
entrepreneurial performance and founders human capitaleducation and experience in
1

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference,
Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, June 2012.

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2412932

particularbecause according to human capital theory, education and experience are the most
important determinants of intellectual performance and facilitate assimilating new knowledge
and adapting to new situations (Weick, 1996; van der Sluis, van Praag, Vijverberg, 2008).
Literature on the effect of general education on entrepreneurial performance is fairly extensive,
but published articles on the effect of entrepreneurship-specific education on entrepreneurial
performance are extremely rare. Due to space limitations, we present the following brief
summary of what the literature tells us about the relationship between human assets and
entrepreneurial performance.
Summary
General education is related positively to entrepreneurial performance, especially in the USA.
But empirical evidence relating entrepreneurship-specific education with performance is
extremely scarce and not convincing. The literature on creativity and expertise leads to the
conclusion that it takes 10 years to become an expert in any domain; which we infer also applies
to entrepreneurship. There is evidence that high-potential entrepreneurs perform better the
second time around; in contrast, the preponderance of evidence indicates that the performance of
self-employed individualsmainly solo entrepreneursdoes not improve from one new venture
to the next.
PROPOSITIONS, HYPOTHESES, & CONTROLS
Effect of entrepreneurship education
Babson College, an undergraduate and MBA business school, introduced its first
entrepreneurship course in the mid-1960s. The program steadily grew so that by the mid-1980s
it had a cluster of three core elective entrepreneurship courses covering the entire entrepreneurial
process from nascent entrepreneurs through to harvest and beyond. The courses are
Entrepreneurship and New Ventures, Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures, and Managing
Growing Businesses. Two variations on those three courses were added to the core in recent
years. The core program was originally designed by a faculty member with extensive experience
as an entrepreneur. And its development over the past 25 years has had, and continues to have,
substantial input from faculty members, both full-time and adjunct, with considerable experience
as entrepreneurs.i
Babsons entrepreneurship program was ranked as the top U.S. program by Gartner and Vesper
(1997) in their evaluation of entrepreneurship education programs; and both its undergraduate
and MBA programs have been ranked as top programs ever since. In 2011, the program has 17
full-time faculty members, 33 adjunct faculty, 10 shared faculty, and 11 staff. Babsons latest
maxim Entrepreneurial Thought and Action captures the underlying teaching philosophy,
which emphasizes experiential learning.
All Babson undergraduatesii and graduate students (almost entirely MBAs) take approximately
20 business courses to complete their degrees. Three-quarters of the alumni in the data set used
for the analyses in the present paper took one or more core elective entrepreneurship course, and
a quarter took none. One way of looking at this is that one elective core entrepreneurship course
amounts to only 5% of the total business courses taken by a student. Its important to keep this

Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2412932

in mind when considering whether taking core elective entrepreneurship courses affects the
performance of businesses started by alumni.
Some of the content of the core elective entrepreneurship courses builds on what students have
learned in other business courses. For example, writing a business plan, which is a central
feature of the Entrepreneurship and New Ventures course, requires among other things strategic
management, marketing, operations, accounting, and financial tools that students have learned in
basic business courses that they are required to take. In the Entrepreneurship and New Ventures
course those tools are applied to starting businesses from scratch rather than to ongoing
businesses. We expect that the biggest difference between the performance of businesses started
up and operated by alumni who took core elective entrepreneurship courses and those who took
none would be found in the topics that are unique to the core elective entrepreneurship courses.
Among those unique topics are finding and evaluating opportunities for a new business, writing a
business plan, financing a new business, and managing a new venture from birth through
adolescence to adulthood.
Teaching students to write business plans is ubiquitous in undergraduate and graduate
entrepreneurship programs because most entrepreneurship educators believe that a written
business plan increases the chances that a nascent business will result in an actual startup that
will survive and turn out to be a successful business, even though the theoretical underpinnings
for such a belief are flimsy and the empirical support is skimpy (Honig, 2004).iii Babson was
one of the first business schools to embed writing business plans in its core elective
entrepreneurship program, and in 1984almost simultaneously with the University of Texas at
Austinstarted the first business plan competition anywhere in the academic world. Writing
business plans has been and still is a central component of Babsons core elective
entrepreneurship program. Thus, just like our peers at in other entrepreneurship programs, we
believe in the following proposition.
P1: Training students to write business plans will make them better entrepreneurs both in
the startup process and subsequently in running their new businesses.
One of the main functions of a written business plan is to project revenue, costs, income, and
cash flows; and thereby estimate how much startup cash will needed to fund a new venture.
Thus we expect that alumni who were trained to write a business plan as students are more likely
to write better business plans than alumni who were not so trained; and because a business plan
is an important factor in raising money, we expect that alumni trained as students to write
business plans will be more successful in raising startup money. Not all alumni write business
plans before they embark on their new ventures; but those who were trained to write business
plans are more likely to write one than those who were not so trained; and even if they dont
have a formal written plan, it is likely that their training in business planning will facilitate their
making financial projections and raising money. So we hypothesize the following:
H1a: Alumni who were trained to write business plans when they were students raise more
startup money than those who were not so trained.
A written business plan is a carefully documented road map that is expected to lead to success.
So is seems reasonable to hypothesize that alumni who have been schooled in the science of

writing business plans as students will be better at writing business plans as alumni than their
counterparts without formal training in writing business plans. Hence we propose the following
hypothesis:
H1b: Businesses started by alumni who as students were trained to write business plans
perform better than businesses started by alumni without such training.
(Our performance measures will be defined in the method section of this paper.)
In somewhat similar vein, another aspect that is unique to the core elective entrepreneurship
courses is the financing of startup businesses; it differs from the financing of mid-size and big
businesses, which is the main focus of required basic finance courses. For instance, cash-onhand is vital for a startup business, so income and cash flow statements focus on real-time rather
than accrual accounting; and most startup businesses do not own assets, so depreciation and
amortization are insignificant in many instances. Raising money for a startup venture is entirely
different from raising money for an established going concern. The initial startup money comes
from the 4Fs: Founders themselves, family, friends, and foolhardy strangersa topic that is
never covered in required finance courses. In comparatively rare instances startup funding
comes from business angels, and in extremely rare cases it is provided by venture capitalists.
Those sources of funding are covered only briefly, sometimes not at all, in required finance
courses. In contrast, bank loans, which are extensively covered in required finance courses, are
seldom a source of funding for startup businesses. The financing of startup and young
businesses is covered extensively in Babsons core elective entrepreneurship courses, which in
many instances are taught by instructors with substantial real-world experience as entrepreneurs,
informal investors, business angels, and venture capitalists. Hence, students who take core
elective entrepreneurship courses are well versed in the art and science of raising money for new
ventures. This leads to the following hypothesis:
H2a: Alumni who took core elective entrepreneurship courses as students raise more
startup money than those who were not so trained.
And because startup financing is covered in all the core elective entrepreneurship courses we
hypothesize H2b:
H2b: The more core elective entrepreneurship courses that alumni took when they were
students, the more startup money they raise.
The core elective entrepreneurship courses contain material on managing growing businesses,
and it is the principal topic of one of the courses. It leads to the following hypothesis:
H3: Businesses started by alumni who took core elective entrepreneurship courses as
students outperform businesses started by alumni who took none.
Effect of experience
Practical experience also is expected to be important in the startup process and subsequent
performance of new ventures. That experience could be entrepreneurial, industry specific, or
professional practice gained after graduation.
Founders who have previously founded a business have already been through the process of
raising money for a startup. Hence, it is likely that they will be more successful in raising money
when they start their next business than novice entrepreneurs starting their first business:

H4: Entrepreneurs who have prior startup experience raise more money than novice
entrepreneurs.iv
Know-how learned from starting and running a previous business should make entrepreneurs
more successful in running their next business. This is contrary to van der Sluis, van Praag and
Vijverbergs (2008) finding that self-employed individuals do not perform better the second time
around. However, it is consistent with Stuart and Abettis (1990) and Gompers, Kovner, Lerner,
and Scharfsteins (2010) findings that prior entrepreneurial experience correlated with the early
performance of new high-potential ventures:
H5: Businesses started by alumni who have prior startup experience will subsequently
outperform businesses started by novice entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs with experience in the same industry as their new venture have know-how that
should help them to raise more startup money because potential investors are probably more
likely to invest in them than in nascent entrepreneurs with no relevant industry experience.
Chatterji (2009), for instance, found that within the medical device industry, former employees
of prominent companies tend to perform better across a number of metrics: time to first funding,
investment valuation, and time to product approval. Also entrepreneurs with relevant industry
experience have a network of potential investors from the same industry. For example,
according to the GEM studies, former work colleagues are a significant source of informal
investment for startup companies (Bygrave and Bosma, 2011). This leads to the following
hypothesis:
H6: The more experience that entrepreneurs have in the same industry as their startup, the
more startup money they raise.
According to Bates (1990) and Schoonhoven, Eisenhardt, and Lyman (1990), entrepreneurs with
more industry experience are less likely to terminate their new ventures because they have a
better understanding of the workings of the industry. And Bhid (2000) found that a substantial
fraction of the Inc. 500v got the idea for their new company while working at their prior
employer. It is a small step to propose that entrepreneurs with previous industry experience are
likely to be more successful. Hence we hypothesize as follows:
H7: The more prior experience that entrepreneurs have in the same industry as their
startup, the more successful is the subsequent performance of their business.
Practical experience after graduatingtermed professional ageshould make entrepreneurs
better managers. Researchers into the relationship of age with self-employment have found a shaped curvilinear relationship (Preisendorfer and Voss, 1990; van der Sluis, van Praag and
Vijverberg, 2008) analogous to the well-known concave age-income profile in human capital
research (Bruederl, J., Preisendorfer, P. and Ziegler, R., 1992). And other researchers into the
relationship between age and an individuals performance have found it to be curvilinear (e.g.,
Simonton, 1984; Simonton, 2000). So we propose a curvilinear -shaped relationship between
professional age and entrepreneurial performance:
H8: There is a curvilinear -shaped relationship between entrepreneurs professional age
and the subsequent performance of companies they start.

The more professional experience that entrepreneurs have, the more likely they are to spot
superior opportunities; also they are likely to have more extensive networks. Both factors should
enhance their ability to raise startup capital:
H9: The greater their professional age, the more startup money that entrepreneurs raise.
Controls
The above hypotheses are moderated by the age of the business and the gender and highest
degree of the alumni entrepreneurs. We did not include parentage as a control variable because
as van der Sluis, van Praag, Vijverberg (2008) found in their review, the offspring of
entrepreneurs are not themselves more likely to be successful entrepreneurs, as is sometimes
thought but seldom found.
Business Age. In general, the sales revenue, number of employees, and income of new ventures
increase with time; so we control for business age.
Gender. Many previous studies have demonstrated a noticeable difference between men and
women when it comes to entrepreneurship. For example, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor,
GEM, reported that in high income countries men were 33% more likely than women to be
active entrepreneurs (Minniti, Arenius, and Langowitz, 2005); and (Reynolds, Carter, Gartner,
Greene, and Cox, 2002) found that in the U.S. men were twice as likely as women to be nascent
entrepreneurs. Lange, Mollov, Pearlmutter, Singh, and Bygrave (2007) in a study of businesses
started by entrepreneurs with bachelors or masters degrees in business found that those started
by men had higher sales revenue and more employees than those started by women. Hence, we
control for gender.
Degree. Undergraduates are younger than MBA students, so at the time of graduation and for
several years afterward they have lower opportunity costs for becoming an entrepreneur
compared with being an employee simply because they are paid less than MBAs. Also recent
undergraduates generally have lower personal living costs. Thus it is conceivable that recent
undergraduates may start businesses that are more modest than ones started by recent MBAs.
Whats more, years of schooling are related positively with entrepreneurial performance (e.g.,
Robinson and Sexton, 1994); and MBAs have more total years in school than bachelors. Also
most MBAs get work experience between graduating with a bachelors degree and enrolling in
graduate school. Hence, although the core courses in the undergraduate and MBA program are
very similar, we differentiate alumni according to their highest Babson degrees.
METHOD
Survey
We emailed a 55-question surveyvi to all 14,920 alumni for whom the school had an email
address. We followed up the initial email with two subsequent ones. The response rate was
27.4%. We culled the data set down to 3,775 alumni who graduated during the 25-year period,
1985 through 2009; 41.8% had bachelors degrees and 58.2% mastersalmost entirely MBAs
with a few MSs; 72.3% had been full-time students, 27.7% part-time, of whom nearly all were

MBAs; 32.4% were women, 67.6% men; and their average age was 37. Sixty-seven percent
took at least one core entrepreneurship elective course at Babson and 33% took none.
Data set
For the analyses presented in this paper we examined 913 alumni (24.2% of the respondents)
who had founded or co-founded one or more independent businesses for which they worked full
time and were classified as entrepreneurs.vii In all, the 913 alumni entrepreneurs had started a
total of 1,300 full-time businesses as some had started more than one.viii To test our hypotheses
dealing with operating performance, we excluded companies with zero sales revenue or no
employees other than the entrepreneurs themselves. Amounts of money were adjusted for
inflation with the CPI to year-end 2009 dollars.
Dependent variables
Our hypotheses deal with performance when starting up and subsequently operating a business.
At the startup phase, we measured the amount of money raised from pre-startup through the first
12 months of operating. We measured operating performance with sales revenue, number of
employees, and earnings before taxes (EBT),ix at the time the questionnaire was being
completed. If the company was no longer operating as an independent entity, we asked what its
revenue, earnings before taxes, and number of employees were at its peak. We recognize that
there is a never-ending debate about how to measure the performance of private companies; for
example, Brush and Vanderwerf (1992). We would argue, however, that short of an independent
audit of a companys books, our measures are about as valid and reliable as can reasonably be
expected with self-reported data. Income, measured by earnings before taxes, is the least reliable
of our dependent variables because all the companies in our dataset are private and how they
compute their EBT depends on many factors including their legal form (sole proprietorship, C
corporation, sub-chapter S, limited liability company, etc.), method of depreciating assets,
treatment of accruals, andperhaps most important of allfounders salaries and perquisites.
In our regression models we used the logarithms of each of the dependent variables because the
distributions of the raw data were skewed.
Independent variables for experience
Previously started a new business. A dummy variable indicated if a founder was a first-time
entrepreneur or had previously founded a full-time new venture.
Founders' combined years of experience in the same industry. We measured industry
experience by the total number of years that the founding team members combined had worked
in the same industry prior to founding their new venture.
Professional years experience between graduation and startup. This was the elapsed time from
graduation to starting a full-time business.
(Professional years experience). This term was included in the regression models to test for
curvilinearity.
Independent variables for entrepreneurship education
Wrote student business plan at Babson. This was a dummy variable indicating whether or not
alumni had written a business plan when they were students.

1 core entrepreneurship courses taken. This was a dummy variable indicating alumni who took
one core elective entrepreneurship course when they were Babson students.
2 core entrepreneurship courses taken. This was a dummy variable indicating alumni who took
two core elective entrepreneurship courses when they were Babson students.
3 core entrepreneurship courses taken. This was a dummy variable indicating alumni who
took three or more core elective entrepreneurship courses when they were Babson students.
Control variables
Gender. This was a dummy variable, Female = 0, Male = 1.
Babson degree. This was a dummy variable, BS = 0, Masters =1.
Business Age. This was the age of the company in years; the distribution was skewed so we
used the logarithm in the regression models.
RESULTS
Descriptive statistics
Table 1 shows the descriptive statistics for the raw values (not the logarithms) of the variables in
our regression models. Mean annual revenue was $5.5 million (median $500,000); mean
earnings before tax was $0.85 million (median $0.12 million); mean number of employees 31
(median 5); mean sales per employee was $0.29 million (median $0.13 million); mean startup
money raised was $1.5 million (median $0.11 million). The average age of the companies was
5.4 years (median 4 years). 89% of the entrepreneurs were male, 11% female; 41% had BS
degrees and 59% had masters (almost entirely MBAs); 38% had previous startup experience,
62% had none; founders mean combined experience in the same industry as the startup was 16.7
years (median 10 years); alumnis mean professional experience was 6.0 years (median 5 years);
75% of the entrepreneurs had written business plans as Babson students; 24% of the
entrepreneurs took no core elective entrepreneurship courses when they were Babson students,
23% took one, 27% took two, and 26% took three or more.

TABLE 1
Descriptive statistics
Sales
Number of Employees

Mean

Median

$5,457,257

$500,000

31.0

5.00

EBT

$852,202

$123,743

Sales per Employee

$285,796

$125,000

$1,465,987

$113,572

Startup Money Raised


Gender: F = 0, M = 1

0.89

Degree: B = 0, M = 1

0.59

Business Age (Years)

5.44

Founders' Previous Startup Experience: No=0, Yes=1

0.38

Founders' Combined Experience in Same Industry, Years


Professional Experience, Years
(Professional Experience)

4.00

16.66

10.00

6.03

5.00

69.67

25.00

Wrote Student Business Plan: No=0, Yes=1

0.75

One Entrepreneurship Course: No=0, Yes=1

0.23

Two Entrepreneurship Courses: No=0, Yes=1

0.27

Three or more Entrepreneurship Courses: No=0, Yes=1

0.26

Regression model
Startup process. The regression model for the amount of money raised from conception to the
end of the first 12 months of operating as a full-time business was highly significant(p=1.4x10-7),
Table 2. The logarithm of startup money raised correlated positively with the entrepreneur
having previously started a business (p=0.0004), founders combined experience in the same
industry (p=0.007), professional experience (p=0.02), taking one core elective entrepreneurship
course (p=0.012), taking two core elective entrepreneurship courses (p=0.011), and taking three
or more core elective entrepreneurship courses (p=0.003); and correlated negatively with
professional experience squared (p=0.1). It did not correlate with having written a business plan
as a student. The control variables, gender, and Babson degree (bachelors or masters) were not
significant.

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TABLE 2
Regression model for startup money raised
Ln(Startup
Money Raised)
B
(Constant)
Gender, Female = 0, Male = 1

Sig.

10.029

.000

.445

.150

-.134

.573

Previously started a new business, Dummy

.838

.000

Founders' combined years of experience in the same industry

.015

.007

Professional years experience between graduation and startup

.109

.020

(Professional years experience)

-.004

.096

Wrote student business plan at Babson, Dummy

-.361

.216

1 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy

.883

.012

.886

.011

1.102

.003

Babson degree: BS = 0, Masters =1

2 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy


3 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy
Number of observations

473

5.403

Significance

1.4x10 -7

R-square
Adjusted R-square

.104
.085

Operating performance. All three regression models for the operating performance were
significant, Table 3: ln(sales revenue), p=5.2x10-10; ln(number of employees), p=1.1x10-6; and
ln(EBT), p=0.006. One control variable, ln(age), was highly significant in all three models.
Another control variable, gender, was significant in the ln(sales revenue) model (p=0.04) and the
ln(number of employees) model (p=0.054), but was not significant in the ln(EBT) model. The
remaining control variable, Babson degree, was not significant in any of the models.

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TABLE 3
Regression models for operating performance
Ln(Sales
Revenue)
B
(Constant)

Ln(Number
Employees)

Sig.

Sig.

Ln(EBT)
B

Sig.

10.876

.000

.471

.210

10.301

.000

Gender, Female = 0, Male - 1

.757

.041

.494

.054

.416

.297

Babson degree: BS = 0, Masters =1

.093

.712

.045

.797

.093

.751

Log Business Age

.904

.000

.458

.000

.552

.002

Previously started a new business, Dummy


Founders' combined years of experience in the same industry

.388
.007

.119
.209

.514
.006

.003
.163

-.053
.010

.854
.175

Professional years experience between graduation and startup

.196

.000

.072

.039

.160

.005

-.010

.001

-.005

.020

-.006

.096

Wrote student business plan at Babson, Dummy

.231

.461

-.049

.820

-.122

.730

1 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy

.505

.157

.490

.049

.294

.462

2 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy

-.075

.842

.298

.247

.049

.909

.013

.973

.233

.382

.194

.661

(Professional years experience)

3 core entrepreneurship courses taken, Dummy


Number of observations

270

282

215

6.781

4.750

2.506

Significance

5.2x10
.224

-10

1.1x10
.162

-6

.006

.191

.128

.072

R-square
Adjusted R-square

.119

Having previously started a business was significant in only one of the models, ln(number of
employees), p=0.003. Founders combined experience in the same industry as the startup was
not significant in any of the three models. Professional experience was significant in all three
models: ln(sales revenue), p=0.0001; ln(number of employees), p=0.04; and ln(EBT), p=.005.
Professional experience squared correlated negatively in all three models: ln(sales revenue),
p=0.001; ln(number of employees), p=0.02; and ln(EBT), p=0.096. Having written a business
plan as a student was not significant in any of the models; taking one, two, or three or more core
elective entrepreneurship courses was not significant in any of the models with one exception
that we discuss in the next section.
Hypotheses
Entrepreneurship education correlated with raising money during the startup process, Table 4.
Specifically, the amount of startup money increased with taking core elective entrepreneurship
courses, but was not affected by whether or not an alumnus wrote a business plan as a student.
However, entrepreneurship education did not correlate with the subsequent operating
performance of a new venture except that taking one core elective entrepreneurship course
correlated positively with the number of employees (p=0.049); this might be a spurious
correlation because if taking one course was significant then taking two or better yet three of
more courses should have been even more significant, whereas neither came close to being
significant. We ran a regression (not exhibited in this paper) of ln(sales per employee). The
result was similar to the ln(sales revenue) regression except that taking one entrepreneurship
course was not significant nor were taking two or three or more courses. Thus we think that the

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correlation between taking one entrepreneurship course and number of employees is probably a
statistical anomaly.
TABLE 4
Results of hypotheses

EXPERIENCE
Previously started a new business
Founders' combined years experience in
the same industry
Professional years experience between
graduation and startup

Startup
process
Startup money
raised
H4
ACCEPT

Operating Performance
Number of
Sales revenue
employees
EBT
H5sr
REJECT
H5emp
ACCEPT H5EBT REJECT

H6

ACCEPT

H7sr

REJECT

H9

ACCEPT1

H8sr

ACCEPT1 H8emp

ACCEPT1 H8EBT

ACCEPT1
(P<0.1)

H1a
H2a
H2b
H2b

REJECT
ACCEPT
ACCEPT
ACCEPT

H1bsr
H3sr1
H3sr2
H3sr3

REJECT
REJECT
REJECT
REJECT

REJECT
ACCEPT
REJECT
REJECT

REJECT
REJECT
REJECT
REJECT

H7emp

REJECT

H7EBT

(Professional years experience)

REJECT

ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION
Wrote student business plan at Babson
1 core entrepreneurship courses taken
2 core entrepreneurship courses taken
3 core entrepreneurship courses taken
1.

H1bemp
H3emp1
H3emp2
H3emp3

H1bEBT
H3EBT1
H3EBT2
H3EBT3

Test of -shaped relationship

Experience correlated both with raising money during the startup process and with the
subsequent operating performance of a new business. To be specific, having previously started a
new business correlated with amount of startup money raised and with number of employees.
Presumably, having more startup money made it possible to hire more employees. Founders
combined experience in the same industry correlated positively with the amount of startup
money raised, but not with any of the operating performance measures. And professional
experience correlated with the amount of startup money raised, sales revenue, number of
employees, and EBT; in every case it was a curvilinear relationship, which peaked at 12.4 years
for amount of startup money raised, 9.8 years for sales revenue, 7.3 years for number of
employees, and 13.8 years for EBT; there was no statistical difference between each of those
values when the standard errors were considered; and the mean value was 10 years.
DISCUSSION
The overall conclusion is that while formal entrepreneurship education is valuable when raising
startup money, real-world practical knowledge is even more valuable. The B-coefficients in the
ln(startup money raised) model in Table 2 are 0.88 for taking one core elective entrepreneurship
course, 0.89 for taking two, and 1.1 for taking three or more; there is no difference among those
three values within the standard errors. On the other hand, having previously started a new
business has a B-coefficient 0.84; founders combined experience in the same industry as the
startup has a B-coefficient of 0.015, so multiplying it by the average of founders combined
experience produces an average value of 0.25; and the peak value of professional experience is
0.67. Hence, the total value of the three experience effects is 1.76 (0.84+0.25+0.67) compared

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with 0.88 for taking one core elective entrepreneurship course. Simplistically put, real-world
experience is twice as effective as taking one core elective entrepreneurship course with respect
to raising startup money.
When it comes to the subsequent operating performance of new businesses, professional
experience is significant in all three models; while entrepreneurship educationtaking one or
more core elective entrepreneurship coursesis significant in only one of the models and that
correlation might be a statistical quirk. As we mentioned earlier, one core elective
entrepreneurship course is approximately 5% of all the business courses that students take, so
perhaps it is not surprising that it appears to have little influence on the operating performance
post-startup. An alternative explanation might be found in Lazears (2004) jack-of-all-trades
theory of entrepreneurship, which reasoned that general skills are more important than special
skills for entrepreneurs; he supported his argument with evidence that alumni of Stanford
University Business School were more likely to be entrepreneurs if they had taken a more
diversified set of courses than a specialized set when they were students. Unfortunately, Lazear
did not study the relationship between the diversity of courses and entrepreneurial performance,
so we can only surmise that diversity of courses taken might be related to performance. If that is
the case, it could be argued that the post-startup performance of alumni businesses is not related
to how many core elective entrepreneurship courses alumni took as students; instead, it is related
to the diversity of all their elective business courses.
One explanation of why professional age is related to performance is that practical experience
makes entrepreneurs better managers of their own businesses. Another explanation is that
seasoned alumni are more likely to find better opportunities for new ventures than recent
graduates. A business founded on a better opportunity and managed by an entrepreneur with
considerable professional experience is likely to be a superior performer. The optimum
professional age appears to fall in the region of 10 or so years. Interestingly, a study of
university scientists who were granted PhDs between 1974 and 1984 found that 10 years was the
peak professional age for founding technology ventures (Ding and Choi, 2008). We dont want
to make too much of our finding that the peak of the performance curve is for companies started
by alumni with about 10 years of professional experience, but we cant resist pointing out that it
agrees nicely with the time that it takes to become an expert (e.g., Simon and Case, 1973).
Our finding that professional age is correlated with performance both when starting up and
operating a business seems to conflict with Cooper, Gimeno-Gascon, and Woos (1994) finding
that management know-how had only a weak direct effect on the performance of a new venture.
Cooper et al. (1994) speculated that the effect of management know-how on venture
performance comes from the enhanced ability of firms rich in management know-how to raise
initial financial capital for their business, but has no significant effect on subsequent
performance. We think it is counterintuitive to believe that prior management experience does
not enhance operating performance; and it appears that venture capitalists agree: otherwise they
would not team up neophyte entrepreneurs with seasoned managers, e.g., Eric Schmidt with
Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google); Armas Markkula, Jr. with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak
(Apple); and Meg Whitman with Pierre Omidyar (eBay).

14

Cooper et al. (1994), however, found that industry specific know-how was a strong predictor of
subsequent performance whereas we found that it only affected the amount of startup money
raised but not subsequent operating performance. The explanation might lie in our different
research methods. Cooper et al. (1994) used a dummy variable for performance, a dummy
variable for management experience, and an interval scale for measuring industry similarity,
whereas we used ratio variables for performance, prior experience in the same industry, and
professional experience. Also Cooper et al. (1994) looked at performance of three- year-old
companies, whereas the average age of the companies in our sample was 5.4 years; which might
be a possible reason for the difference between our findings, because the value of prior industry
experience depreciates with time, whereas staying abreast of current developments in the
industryregardless of prior industry knowledgeappreciates (Baron, 2006). But we confess
that our finding that industry experience does not affect future performance seems to be what
else counterintuitive and merits more research. Perhaps a clue to another possible explanation
might be discovered in Kirschenhofer and Lechners (2005) empirical study of habitual
entrepreneurs, which found among other things that depth of industry experience had a negative
influence on performance while breadth of experience had a positive influence. It seems
therefore that a variety of experiences, which make the entrepreneur a generalist, prepares an
entrepreneur better for her/his endeavors than a deep but specialized experiencea finding that
is compatible with Lazears (2004) theory.
A few researchers have used sales growth rate as a measure of performance (e.g., Bailey, 1986;
Ensley, Pearce, and Hmieleski, 2006.) We too set up a regression model with ln(latest sales
revenue/age of company) and dropped ln(age) as a control variable. It produced a regression
model (not exhibited in this paper) in which the significant B-coefficients for professional
experience and professional experience squared were almost identical to those for the ln(sales
revenue) model shown in Table 3. Bailey (1986) postulated that companies run by owners
whose behavior is predominantly entrepreneurial grow faster than those run by owners whose
behavior is predominantly managerial. From which it could be inferred that businesses run by
alumni who take entrepreneurship courses should grow faster than those run by alumni who take
none. However, we found no significant difference between the two groups; which, if Baileys
postulate is correct, implies that alumni who took entrepreneurship courses ran their businesses
no more entrepreneurially than their counterparts who took none.
There have been very few studies of entrepreneurship program alumni, and they deal almost
entirely with intentions to be an entrepreneur (e.g., review by Pittaway and Cope, 2007). Studies
of startup and post-startup performance of businesses founded by alumni of entrepreneurship
programs are extremely rare and more often than not are methodologically flawed, so it is not
possible to make a direct comparison of our findings with previous research. The research that
comes closest to ours is Charney and Libecaps (2002) study of graduates of the University of
Arizona Business School. They examined the careers of alumni who as students had taken an
entrepreneurship concentration and those who had not. They found that entrepreneurship
graduates had higher personal income and higher personal assets. Among other things, they
found that the sales growth of small companies employing entrepreneurship graduates was
higher than those without entrepreneurship graduates. Unfortunately, they did not isolate small
businesses that were started by Arizona entrepreneurship graduates from companies where they
were only employees, so we cannot compare their results with ours.

15

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS


The most striking finding is that professional age, regardless of whether or not it included
entrepreneurship experience, had the strongest correlation with both startup and operating
performance. Prior startup experience correlated only with startup performance but not with
operating performance. This suggests that Schumpeter (1934) was correct to claim that
entrepreneurship is not a profession in the classic sense such as accounting, engineering,
medicine, and law are, because if it were, then operating performance should improve with
entrepreneurial experience, but we found that it didnt. However, at the startup stage both
entrepreneurship education and prior entrepreneurial experience correlated with amount of
startup money raised. We believe it indicates that parts of the startup process are a discipline that
can be learned; which is limited support for Druckers claim.
From a students perspective, there is a trade-off between the fees for taking core elective
entrepreneurship courses and the cost of getting real-world practical experience or as some put it
(Robinson and Sexton, 1994) an education from the school of hard knocks. According to
Jeans (1884), Thomas Carlyle wrote, Experience is the best schoolmaster, only the school fees
are rather heavy.x For instance, experience gained from starting a new venture that turns out to
be a mediocrity or a failure is likely to be expensive for an entrepreneur both in terms of personal
investment in the business and opportunity costs.
Our study indicates that taking core elective entrepreneurship courses is more valuable than
learning how to write a student business plan, because we found no significant relationship
between being trained to write a business plan as a student and the amount of startup money
raised or the post-startup performance. When our finding is considered along with other findings
that businesses started with written business plans do not outperform ones started without them
(Honig, 2004; Honig and Karlsson, 2004, Lange, Mollov, Pearlmutter, Singh, and Bygrave,
2007), we wonder why teaching students to write business plans is emphasized so much in
entrepreneurship education. As Honig (2004) observed, neither teaching business plans nor
writing business plans is sufficiently justified by empirical or theoretical literature. It is a topic
that urgently requires much more attention from researchers.
Our paper makes the following contributions to entrepreneurship research. It is an extensive
study of the effect of entrepreneurship education on the entrepreneurial performance of a
relatively large sample of Babson College alumni. It looks at the effect of taking one, two, or
three or more core entrepreneurship elective courses; and it examines the effect of writing a
student business plan. It also examines the correlation between performance and practical
experience measured by having previously started a business, by having worked in the same
industry as the startup, and by professional age, which is the number of years from graduation to
starting up a new venture. It compares the relative effects of formal education and practical
experience on performance. In so doing, it addresses the pleas of policy makers and others for
more studies of the outcomes of an entrepreneurship education.

16

Here are some implications for students, educators, policy makers, and researchers based on the
findings reported in this paper and our previous paper on entrepreneurial intentions (Lange et al.,
2011)xi:
Students. Core elective entrepreneurship courses will increase your intentions to become an
entrepreneur. And they will enhance the amount of startup money that you raise if you actually
fulfill those intentions and become an entrepreneur. Taking more than one core course will
strengthen your intentions to become an entrepreneur and will marginally enhance the amount of
startup capital that you raise. Writing a student business plan will also strengthen your
entrepreneurial intentions. But neither taking core elective entrepreneurship courses nor writing
a student business plan will enhance the operating performance of your business. Experience in
the real world before you start a new venture will enhance your performance both when you are
in the startup process and when you are operating your business.
Educators. Specialized entrepreneurship education increases students intentions to become
entrepreneurs and enhances their ability to raise funds when starting their businesses, but does
not improve the subsequent operating performance. Thus, we think the emphasis of
undergraduate and MBA entrepreneurship courses should be on the pre-startup and startup
process. While it is useful to include writing a business plan in the curriculum, it should not be
the main focus because it is not the most effective pedagogical tool for enhancing either
entrepreneurial intentions or entrepreneurial performance. Since our results show that realworld experience trumps entrepreneurship education, we think that experiential learning should
be an overarching principle in entrepreneurship pedagogy.
Policy makers and supporters of entrepreneurship programs. Specialized entrepreneurship
education increases students entrepreneurial intentions, and the effect is long lasting. It also
enhances alumnis effectiveness in raising startup capital and the effect is also long lasting. We
think it is a mistake to evaluate the effectiveness of specialized entrepreneurship education by
measuring the number of new ventures started by alumni at graduation or soon afterward,
because our analysis shows that the best performing new ventures are started by alumni
approximately 10 years after graduation.
Researchers. We hope that other schools will study the effectiveness of their entrepreneurship
programs so that we can see what can be generalized. An ideal study would compare
businesses started by alumni from all disciplines (science, humanities, engineering, business, art,
music, etc.) who took elective entrepreneurship courses with those who took none. Our finding
about real-world experience needs more study; particularly, our finding that the amount of prior
experience in the same industry does not improve the long-term performance of a business. And
as we and othersespecially Honig (2004)have pleaded, we need more studies into the
effectiveness of a written business plan both as a teaching tool and in the actual performance of
new ventures.

17

REFERENCES
Bailey, J. E. (1986). Learning styles of successful entrepreneurs. In Ronstadt, R., Hornaday, J.
A., Peterson R., and Vesper, K. H. (Eds.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1986.
Wellesley, MA: Babson College. pp 199-210.
Baron, R. A. (2006). Opportunity recognition as pattern recognition: how entrepreneurs connect
the dots to identify new business opportunities. Academy of Management Perspectives,
20, 10419.
Bates, T. (1990) Entrepreneur human capital inputs and small business longevity, Review of
Economic Statistics, 72(4), pp. 551 559.
Bhid, A., 2000. The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Bruederl, J., Preisendorfer, P. and Ziegler, R. (1992) Survival chances of newly founded business
organizations. American Sociological Review 57(2): 227242.
Brush, C.G. & VanderWerf, P. 1992. A Comparison of Methods and Sources for Obtaining
Estimates of New Venture Performance. Journal of Business Venturing. 7:2, pp. 157-170
Bygrave, W. (1994). The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Bygrave, W. and Bosma, N. (2011). Investor Altruism: Financial Returns from Informal
Investments in Businesses Owned by Relatives, Friends, and Strangers. Upcoming in
The Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Activity, Minniti, M. ed. Oxford University Press,
2011.
Charney, A.H. and Libecap, G. D. (2002). The contribution of entrepreneurship education: An
analysis of the Berger program. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education
1(3).
Chatterji, A., 2009. Spawned with a silver spoon? Entrepreneurial performance and innovation in
the medical device industry. Strategic Management Journal 30, 185206.
Cooper, A., Gimeno-Gascon, J. and Woo, C. (1994) Initial human and financial capital as
predictors of new venture performance. Journal of Business Venturing 9(5): 371395.
Ding, W. and Choi, E. (2008). Divergent paths or stepping stones: A comparison of scientists
advising and founding activities. Working Paper Series, Institute of Research on Labor
and Employment, University of California, Berkeley.
Dosi, G., 1988, Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation, Journal of
Economic Literature, 26, 11201171.
Drucker, P.F. (1985). Innovation and entrepreneurship. New York: Harper and Row.
Ensley, M. D., Pearce, C. L., and Hmieleski, K. M. (2006). The moderating effect of
environmental dynamism on the relationship between entrepreneur leadership behavior
and new venture performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 21 pp. 243263.
Gompers, P., Kovner, A., Lerner, J., and Scharfstein, D. (2010). Performance persistence in
entrepreneurship. Journal of Financial Economics, 96 (1), 1832.
Honig, B. (2004). Entrepreneurship Education: Toward a Model of Contingency-Based Business
Planning. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2004, Vol. 3, No. 3, 258
273.
Honig, B. and Karlsson, T. (2004) Institutional forces and the written business plan, Journal of
Management, 30(1), pp. 29 48.
Jeans, W. T. (1884). The Creators of the Age of Steel. London: Chapman and Hall
Jobs, S. Business Week, February 6, 2006. p. 66.

18

Kirschenhofer, F. and Lechner, C. (2005). Long-term performance of habitual entrepreneurs


which direction to go? Workshop on Firm Exit and Serial Entrepreneurship at the Max
Planck Institute (Jena, Germany) at 13-14, January 2006.
Lange , J., Marram, E., Pencheva, S., Tan, Y., and Bygrave, W. (2010). Entrepreneurs and NonEntrepreneurs: Careers of 3,821 Babson Alumni. Working paper.
Lange, J., Marram, E., Solai Jawahar, A., Yong, W., and Bygrave, W. (2011). Does an
entrepreneurship education have lasting value? A study of careers of 3,775 alumni.
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 2011, 31: 210-225.
Lange, J., Mollov, A., Pearlmutter, M., Singh, S., and Bygrave, W. (2007). Pre-start-up Formal
Business Plans and Post-start-up Performance: A Study of 116 New Ventures. Venture
Capital, Vol. 9, No. 4, 237 256. Babson College, Wellesley MA, USA.
Lazear, E. (2004) Balanced skills and entrepreneurship. American Economic Review 94(2):208
211.
Lehman, H. (1953). Age of Achievement. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
Questions, in R.J. Sternberg and R.A. Finke, eds., The Nature of Insight, Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 332.
Minniti, M., Arenius, P., & Langowitz, N. (2005). 2004 Report on women and entrepreneurship.
In Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Wellesley, MA: The Center for Womens
Leadership at Babson College.
Minniti, M. and Bygrave, W. 2001. A Dynamic Model of Entrepreneurial Learning.
Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 25:3, 5-16.
National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) (2004). Making the journey from
student to entrepreneur: A review of the existing research into graduate
entrepreneurship, National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship Report, URL (April
2006): http://www.ncge.org.uk/review.php
Nystrm, H. (1993), Creativity and entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation Management,
Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 237-42.
Pittaway, L. and Cope, J. (2007). Entrepreneurship education: A systematic review of the
evidence. International Small Business Journal, 2007 25: 479.
Reynolds, P., Carter, N., Gartner, W., Greene, P., & Cox, L. (2002). The entrepreneur next door,
characteristics of individuals starting companies in America. Kansas City, MO: Ewing
Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Robinson, P. and Sexton, E. (1994) The effect of education and experience on self-employment
success. Journal of Business Venturing 9(2): 141156.
Schoonhoven, C. B., Eisenhardt, K. M. and Lyman, K. (1990) Speeding products to market:
waiting time to first product introduction in new firms, Administrative Science Quarterly,
35, pp. 177 207.
Schumpeter, J. A. (1934, 16th printing, 2012). The theory of economic development. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University. P. 78.
Simon, H. A. and Chase, W. G., 1973, Skill in Chess, American Scientist, 61, 394403.
Simonton, D. K. (1984). Creative productivity and age: A mathematical model based on a twostep cognitive process. Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1984, Pages 77-111.
Simonton, D. K. (2000). Creativity: Cognitive, personal, developmental, and social aspects,
American Psychologist 55:1, 151-158.

19

Starr, J. and Bygrave, W. (1991). The assets and liabilities of prior start-up experience: An
exploratory study of multiple venture entrepreneurs. In Churchill, N. C. et al. (Eds.),
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1991. Wellesley, MA: Babson College. pp. 211227.
Stuart, R. W. and Abetti, P. A. (1990). Impact of entrepreneurial and management experience on
early performance. Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 5, Issue 3, May 1990,Pages
151-162.
Van der Sluis, J., Van Praag, M., and Vijverberg, W. (2008). Education and Entrepreneurship
Selection and Performance: A Review of the Empirical Literature, Journal of Economic
Surveys Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 795841.
Weick, K. (1996) Drop your tools: an allegory for organizational studies. Administrative Science
Quarterly 41: 301314.

20

ENDNOTES

Babsons entrepreneurship program also has specialty elective courses including family business, management buyouts and buy-ins, franchising, corporate entrepreneurship, sustainability, and venture capital.
ii

Babsons undergraduate education blends liberal arts and business courses.

iii

Honigs paper is a critique of business planning and written business plans in entrepreneurship education.

iv

This hypothesis is virtually identical to Starr and Bygraves (1991) Proposition 2 for multiple venture
entrepreneurs.
v

The Inc. 500 is an annual list of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.; introduced in 1982.

vi

The complete questionnaire is available from the lead author.

vii

We included only full-time entrepreneurs in our analyses. After all, alumni who have full-time jobs as employees
but also own a part-time business as a sideline have not risked their careers, can rely on a steady salary for their fulltime jobs, and probably have not put much of their personal net worth on the line for their part-time business.
viii

See Lange et al. (2010) for details.

ix

Table 1 in Van der Sluis, Van Praag, and Vijverbergs (2008) summarizes performance measures used in 117
studies of the effect of general education on entrepreneurship. Revenue growth was used 9 times, profit 4 times, and
jobs created only twice.
x

Jeans was writing about a costly commercial mistake made by a youthful Sir Henry Bessemer, the great inventorentrepreneur. Two decades later he invented the Bessemer process for converting iron to steel; it made him very
wealthy, and his investors earned 81 times their original capital.
xi

Our previous paper (Lange et al., 2011) deals with entrepreneurial intentions (in contrast this papers focus on
performance).

REFERENCES
Bailey, J. E. (1986). Learning styles of successful entrepreneurs. In Ronstadt, R., Hornaday, J.
A., Peterson R., and Vesper, K. H. (Eds.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1986.
Wellesley, MA: Babson College. pp 199-210.
Baron, R. A. (2006). Opportunity recognition as pattern recognition: how entrepreneurs connect
the dots to identify new business opportunities. Academy of Management Perspectives,
20, 10419.
Bates, T. (1990) Entrepreneur human capital inputs and small business longevity, Review of
Economic Statistics, 72(4), pp. 551 559.
Bhid, A., 2000. The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Bruederl, J., Preisendorfer, P. and Ziegler, R. (1992) Survival chances of newly founded business
organizations. American Sociological Review 57(2): 227242.
Brush, C.G. & VanderWerf, P. 1992. A Comparison of Methods and Sources for Obtaining
Estimates of New Venture Performance. Journal of Business Venturing. 7:2, pp. 157-170

21

Bygrave, W. (1994). The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship. NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Bygrave, W. and Bosma, N. (2011). Investor Altruism: Financial Returns from Informal
Investments in Businesses Owned by Relatives, Friends, and Strangers. Upcoming in
The Dynamics of Entrepreneurial Activity, Minniti, M. ed. Oxford University Press,
2011.
Charney, A.H. and Libecap, G. D. (2002). The contribution of entrepreneurship education: An
analysis of the Berger program. International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education
1(3).
Chatterji, A., 2009. Spawned with a silver spoon? Entrepreneurial performance and innovation in
the medical device industry. Strategic Management Journal 30, 185206.
Cooper, A., Gimeno-Gascon, J. and Woo, C. (1994) Initial human and financial capital as
predictors of new venture performance. Journal of Business Venturing 9(5): 371395.
Ding, W. and Choi, E. (2008). Divergent paths or stepping stones: A comparison of scientists
advising and founding activities. Working Paper Series, Institute of Research on Labor
and Employment, University of California, Berkeley.
Dosi, G., 1988, Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation, Journal of
Economic Literature, 26, 11201171.
Drucker, P.F. (1985). Innovation and entrepreneurship. New York: Harper and Row.
Ensley, M. D., Pearce, C. L., and Hmieleski, K. M. (2006). The moderating effect of
environmental dynamism on the relationship between entrepreneur leadership behavior
and new venture performance. Journal of Business Venturing, 21 pp. 243263.
Gompers, P., Kovner, A., Lerner, J., and Scharfstein, D. (2010). Performance persistence in
entrepreneurship. Journal of Financial Economics, 96 (1), 1832.
Honig, B. (2004). Entrepreneurship Education: Toward a Model of Contingency-Based Business
Planning. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2004, Vol. 3, No. 3, 258
273.
Honig, B. and Karlsson, T. (2004) Institutional forces and the written business plan, Journal of
Management, 30(1), pp. 29 48.
Jeans, W. T. (1884). The Creators of the Age of Steel. London: Chapman and Hall
Jobs, S. Business Week, February 6, 2006. p. 66.
Kirschenhofer, F. and Lechner, C. (2005). Long-term performance of habitual entrepreneurs
which direction to go? Workshop on Firm Exit and Serial Entrepreneurship at the Max
Planck Institute (Jena, Germany) at 13-14, January 2006.
Lange , J., Marram, E., Pencheva, S., Tan, Y., and Bygrave, W. (2010). Entrepreneurs and NonEntrepreneurs: Careers of 3,821 Babson Alumni. Working paper.
Lange, J., Marram, E., Solai Jawahar, A., Yong, W., and Bygrave, W. (2011). Does an
entrepreneurship education have lasting value? A study of careers of 3,775 alumni.
Presented at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Syracuse
University.
Lange, J., Mollov, A., Pearlmutter, M., Singh, S., and Bygrave, W. (2007). Pre-start-up Formal
Business Plans and Post-start-up Performance: A Study of 116 New Ventures. Venture
Capital, Vol. 9, No. 4, 237 256. Babson College, Wellesley MA, USA.
Lazear, E. (2004) Balanced skills and entrepreneurship. American Economic Review 94(2):208
211.

22

Lehman, H. (1953). Age of Achievement. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.


Questions, in R.J. Sternberg and R.A. Finke, eds., The Nature of Insight, Cambridge,
MA: MIT Press, 332.
Minniti, M., Arenius, P., & Langowitz, N. (2005). 2004 Report on women and entrepreneurship.
In Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Wellesley, MA: The Center for Womens
Leadership at Babson College.
Minniti, M. and Bygrave, W. 2001. A Dynamic Model of Entrepreneurial Learning.
Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 25:3, 5-16.
National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) (2004). Making the journey from
student to entrepreneur: A review of the existing research into graduate
entrepreneurship, National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship Report, URL (April
2006): http://www.ncge.org.uk/review.php
Nystrm, H. (1993), Creativity and entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation Management,
Vol. 2 No. 4, pp. 237-42.
Pittaway, L. and Cope, J. (2007). Entrepreneurship education: A systematic review of the
evidence. International Small Business Journal, 2007 25: 479.
Reynolds, P., Carter, N., Gartner, W., Greene, P., & Cox, L. (2002). The entrepreneur next door,
characteristics of individuals starting companies in America. Kansas City, MO: Ewing
Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Robinson, P. and Sexton, E. (1994) The effect of education and experience on self-employment
success. Journal of Business Venturing 9(2): 141156.
Schoonhoven, C. B., Eisenhardt, K. M. and Lyman, K. (1990) Speeding products to market:
waiting time to first product introduction in new firms, Administrative Science Quarterly,
35, pp. 177 207.
Schumpeter, J. A. (1934, 16th printing, 2012). The theory of economic development. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University. P. 78.
Simon, H. A. and Chase, W. G., 1973, Skill in Chess, American Scientist, 61, 394403.
Simonton, D. K. (1984). Creative productivity and age: A mathematical model based on a twostep cognitive process. Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1984, Pages 77-111.
Simonton, D. K. (2000). Creativity: Cognitive, personal, developmental, and social aspects,
American Psychologist 55:1, 151-158.
Starr, J. and Bygrave, W. (1991). The assets and liabilities of prior start-up experience: An
exploratory study of multiple venture entrepreneurs. In Churchill, N. C. et al. (Eds.),
Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research 1991. Wellesley, MA: Babson College. pp. 211227.
Stuart, R. W. and Abetti, P. A. (1990). Impact of entrepreneurial and management experience on
early performance. Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 5, Issue 3, May 1990,Pages
151-162.
Van der Sluis, J., Van Praag, M., and Vijverberg, W. (2008). Education and Entrepreneurship
Selection and Performance: A Review of the Empirical Literature, Journal of Economic
Surveys Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 795841.
Weick, K. (1996) Drop your tools: an allegory for organizational studies. Administrative Science
Quarterly 41: 301314.