This qualitative study among 591 business students from four European countries investigated cross-country differences in the kind of barriers people perceive to business start-up. In line with institutional theory, the most important perceived barriers in all countries related to regulative structures (lack of money) and cognitive conditions (lack of skills). Normative structures, defined as national culture, did not explain cross-country differences in perceived risk as start-up barrier. In Norway and The Netherlands, students reported risk perceptions more often than in Romania and Russia, whereas the latter countries are known to be more uncertainty avoidant. These results aid in developing a theory of entrepreneurial barriers, which could be used to extend current entrepreneurial intentions theories in order to predict actual start-up behaviour better. Concerning practical implications, results indicate that business start-up can be stimulated through improving regulative and cognitive institutional structures, but national differences need to be taken into account.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial intentions, business start-up, barriers, Institutional Theory, regulative structures, institutions, normative structures, cognitive, conditions, cross-cultural comparison, uncertainty avoidance, developing countries, qualitative research, Europe
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/1765/77504
Journal International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Note Iakovleva T.A., Kolvereid, L., Gorgievski, M.J., Sørhaug Ø. (2014) Comparison of perceived barriers to entrepreneurship in Eastern and Western European countries. Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 18, 2/3, 115-133
Citation
Iakovleva, T.A., Kolvereid, L., Gorgievski-Duijvesteijn, M.J, & Sørhaug, Ø. (2014). Comparison of perceived barriers to entrepreneurship in Eastern and Western European countries. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 18(2/3), 115–133. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77504