Several drivers of entrepreneurial aspirations and entrepreneurial motivations are investigated using country-level data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) for the years 2005 and 2006. We estimate a two-equation model explaining aspirations using motivations and socioeconomic variables, and explaining motivations using socioeconomic variables. We find that countries with a higher incidence of increase-wealth-motivated entrepreneurs tend to have a higher prevalence of high-job-growth and export-oriented entrepreneurship and that a country's level of social security relates negatively to the prevalence of innovative, high-job-growth, and export-oriented entrepreneurship. We also find that the increase-wealth motive mediates the relationship between socioeconomic variables and entrepreneurial aspirations.

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ERIM Article Series (EAS)
Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Hessels, J., van Gelderen, M., & Thurik, R. (2008). Entrepreneurial aspirations, motivations, and their drivers. Small Business Economics: an entrepreneurship journal, 31(3), 323–339. doi:10.1007/s11187-008-9134-x