Multiple business entrepreneurship is defined by Westar (2007, pg 867) as an important gauge of entrepreneurial success. It defines a serial entrepreneur as one who earns a living from starting up companies, operating them until they become competitive, and them selling them at that stage. The need for achievement has been considered as a major motivation in multiple entrepreneurs, among successful small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), (Mika Pasanem, pg 418). More attention is given to the duties of such entrepreneurs in regional economic development.
According to MacMillan (1986, pg 241), there is a form of multiple entrepreneurs who are also called habitual entrepreneurs because of lack of a more profound definition, but to leave the single business entrepreneurs with the name, “one shot or novice entrepreneurs”. According to Donckels et al (1987, pg 54), serial entrepreneurs, are unable to fully participate in a single business idea, a phenomenon that makes it difficult to ascertain whether their motivation comes from involvement in enterprise start-ups, or in the need to achieve.
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On the other hand, Birley and Westhead (1993, pg 14), defines serial entrepreneurs as the kind who establish at least one other business prior to the startup of the current new independent venture, whose motivation derives from the success of the previous venture. Inasmuch as that may be so, the literature of entrepreneurship dictates that multiple entrepreneurship not only encompass founding or starting up more businesses, but also owning them as well (Hall, 1995, pg 220). More profound meaning of a serial entrepreneur, is the one who owns business after another but effectively just one business at a time, i.e. previous business may have been closed, sold, or had a legal outcome, (Hall 1995, pg 220)
The topic of multiple entrepreneurship, elicits considerable attention from different business fields, since they vary between 11-36% of the total population of enterprises, though without systematic frequency assessment of multiple business owners in the economy (Scott and Rosa, 1996). Also, the fact that large and small firms’ studies focus more in terms of operational issues, than ownership and control, tend to leave out the motivational aspects necessary for an entrepreneur (Espresso 1999, pg 121). This indicates a rather restrictive school of thought that some form of motivation could come from the small businesses impact on the community, i.e. job and wealth creation, thereby leaving the question of what motivates such entrepreneurs quite unclear, since different individuals would be motivated by different achievements (Isaac, Robert, 2004, pg 40).
Since serial and portfolio entrepreneurs in urban areas report higher levels of employment growth than those in rural areas (Spilling, 2000), it would be considered as some sort of motivation for such entrepreneurs because they give a considerable piece to the economic growth.
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