Understanding motivations for entrepreneurship: a review of recent research evidence

Ute Stephan, Mark Hart, Cord-Christian Drews

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Our systematic search for empirical studies on entrepreneurial motivation published over the last five years (2008-2013) retrieved 51 relevant studies (filtered from over 1,200 search results), which form the basis of this review. Considering the type and quality of studies suggests that we can be relatively confident in our answer to the first review question below (typologies). The evidence-base for the second and third review questions (drivers and consequences of entrepreneurial motivation) is weaker and still developing.
Beyond answering the three broad research questions below, we develop a framework for future research synthesising the review findings.
1) What typologies exist to describe entrepreneurial motivation?
2) What influences and shapes entrepreneurial motivation?
3) What consequences have different entrepreneurial motivations for entrepreneurial performance?
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBirmingham (UK)
PublisherEnterprise Research Centre
Number of pages54
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015

Bibliographical note

This paper is published by the independent Enterprise Research Centre.
The Enterprise Research Centre is a partnership between Warwick
Business School, Aston Business School, Imperial College Business
School, Strathclyde Business School, Birmingham Business School and De
Montfort University. ERC is funded by the Economic and Social Research
Council (ESRC); the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS);
the Technology Strategy Board (TSB); and, through the British Bankers
Association (BBA), by the Royal Bank of Scotland PLC; HSBC Bank PLC;
Barclays Bank PLC and Lloyds TSB Bank PLC. The support of the funders
is acknowledged. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not
necessarily represent the views of the funders.
The paper informed a project commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on Understanding Entrepreneurial Motivation.


  • motivations
  • entrepreneurship
  • growth aspirations
  • global entrepreneurship monitor


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding motivations for entrepreneurship: a review of recent research evidence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this