Regional and individual determinants of entrepreneurial growth aspirations

Joan-Lluís Capelleras, Ignacio Contín-Pilart, Martin Larraza-Kintana, Victor Martin-Sanchez


This paper investigates the unique and joint effects of population density and early-stage entrepreneurs’ human capital endowments (higher education, entrepreneurship training and owner-manager experience) on entrepreneurial growth aspirations. We test a number of hypotheses using data that combine individual and province level information in Spain over the period 2008-2010. We argue that growth aspirations of early-stage entrepreneurs are higher in more densely populated regions, but that such environmental influence is stronger for individuals with greater human capital. This is because they will be more aware that denser regions offer more favorable conditions for new businesses and also requires greater firm growth to compensate for a higher risk of business failure. Consistent with our view, we find that the growth aspirations of entrepreneurs with higher education are higher in densely populated provinces.


Growth aspirations; Early-stage entrepreneurship; Population density; Human capital; Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)

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