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Imperatives for venture success: entrepreneurs speak

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This paper reports the findings from a qualitative study involving in-depth interviews with American and Canadian entrepreneurs who had conceptualized and started successful ventures. Respondents were asked to define venture success and then articulate the key imperatives for it. Respondents in this study defined venture success in terms of sales growth and profitability. The study confirms findings from previous studies, concluding that entrepreneurs' personal characteristics, including determination and commitment, work ethic, optimism, energy and fearlessness, are very important to venture success. Imperatives involving specific business activities and practices, including having the right idea/opportunity, the right management team, sharing rewards, and business planning, again, consistent with the literature, were confirmed as being important. However, three key imperatives rarely, if ever, cited in previous literature – focusing on the core business, staying close to the market and delivering customer satisfaction – were also articulated by the respondents.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2004

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  • Published quarterly, this journal provides a worldwide forum for the exploration and dissemination of ideas and experience relating to the development and application of entrepreneurship. IJEI is interdisciplinary, publishing the highest-quality work in business and management and in the social sciences. Authors and readers are drawn from government, industry and universities. It has particular appeal to researchers and teachers in higher education, especially in business schools, and university departments of management, sociology and psychology.

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