This paper investigates differences between opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs in terms of socio-demographics, attitudes and perception of obstacles . We use the 2004 Flash Eurobarometer Survey data. Explanatory variables include gender, age, education level and self-employed parents, risk tolerance, locus of control, perceptions of four obstacles and country effects. The obstacle variables include the perception of availibility of financial support; administrative complexity; of access to information on new venture creation and an unfavorable economic climate. Using probit equations we investigate differences in the preference for self-employment of opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs. A probit equation is estimated relating the explanatory variables to opportunity versus necessity entrepreneurship. Moreover, differences in the entrepreneurial engagement of opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs are investigated on the basis of a (ordered) multinomial logit model. Findings indicate that opportunity entrepreneurs have a higher preference for self-employment because of family encouragement. Also, opportunity entrepreneurs are found to perceive of administrative complexity and an unfavorable economic climate, negatively influencing their entrepreneurial involvement, while this is not the case for necessity entrepreneurs.

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EIM bv, Zoetermeer
Erasmus School of Economics

Bhola, R, Verheul, I, Thurik, A.R, & Grilo, I. (2006). Explaining engagement levels of opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs. EIM bv, Zoetermeer. Retrieved from