Research Paper

Home Alone: Innovation and sales growth intentions among the sole self-employed.

ERC Research Paper No 59

Associated Themes
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation

It is widely known that solo self-employed entrepreneurs enjoy non-pecuniary benefits from their employment status and earn less compared to those employed. They have greater ‘freedom and autonomy’ in running their business and as such they pursue their intrinsic commercial ambitions relying on their experience, abilities and exploiting the available opportunities from their external environment. In this paper we argue that solo self-employed entrepreneurs’ growth ambitions shape their future innovation strategy. We develop a theoretical framework and empirically analyse the relationship and the determinants of innovation and growth intentions using a large sample of UK self-employed entrepreneurs. In doing so we extend the theory of planned behaviour to incorporate the role of entrepreneurs’ past experience in innovation and growth in shaping their corresponding future intentions. Our empirical results suggest that past innovation performance and achieved growth rates shape future entrepreneurial intentions and ambitions through an adaptive learning process given the level of entrepreneurial capabilities and external environment opportunities.