Starting a business requires a lot of hard work. It involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. You also have to be ready for the fact that it may take time before you start making money. A successful business can generate a substantial return on investment for the owners and contribute to economic development in its territory.
The importance of this process has been emphasized by many authors, notably Schumpeter Reference Schumpeter1934 and Audretsch Reference Audretsch1995. The establishment of new firms is a fundamental factor in the creation of jobs, innovation and mobilization of resources (Acs et al. Reference Acs et al.2010; Garcia, Martinez and Fernandez Reference Garcia, Martinez and Fernandez2010).
Despite its importance, there is still little systematic knowledge about the process of establishing a company. Until recently, there was only a wealth of individual success stories and analyses reflecting convenience samples.
A number of theoretical frameworks have emerged to explain the determinants of the choice to become an entrepreneur. They emphasize the relevance of cognitive variables, such as the perception of opportunities and self-efficacy. However, the literature also highlights that other factors are equally important. For example, knowing someone who has started a company can be a crucial motivation for deciding to do the same. This phenomenon is known as socialization. In this article, we analyze the role of these variables and their interaction with the process of entrepreneurship. This provides a more precise understanding of the process and of its implications.