🚀 What is entrepreneurial culture?

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Definition of Entrepreneurial Culture

Exist several definitions about entrepreneurship culture. To easy explain this complex term, some authors have divided the concept in the two words it is composed, “entrepreneurial” and “culture”.

Defined by Wickham (2006 cited in Browson, 2013), the word entrepreneurial is the adjective that is given to describe how the entrepreneur undertakes what they do. Using the adjective entrepreneurial demonstrates a particular style of what entrepreneurs do.

In other hand, Brownson (2013) mentions the term culture that is defined as the attributes, values, beliefs, and behavior in which on the individual learns or acquires from one generation to another, and passed through one person and group to another. The transfer of these certain attributes, values, beliefs and behaviors show the intentions of fostering a certain type of culture.

Therefore, the union of this two terms has been conceptualized as:

A society that enhance the exhibition of the attributes, values, beliefs and behaviors that are related to entrepreneurs (Brownson, 2013).

The direct actions of the entrepreneurial culture while spreading the set of values, beliefs, ideologies, habits, practices, customs and actions are directed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and show the benefits of entrepreneurship in the population (Observatorio Nacional del Emprendedor, 2015).

According to the OECD (2009 as cited in Sánchez & Martínez, 2017), it takes time to develop an entrepreneurial culture.

It requires efforts between the actors that are involved, and particularly the entrepreneurial culture should aim to high impact businesses. Where the principal indicators to measure entrepreneurial culture are the entrepreneurs social image, their success and impact, and the motivation to start a business (Sánchez & Martínez, 2017).

Development of an Entrepreneurial Culture

The entrepreneurial culture is formed by several aspects inside the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The entrepreneur has aspirations that make serve as the motor to undertake the entrepreneurial process, to be adverse against risk and be ambitious enough to grow a business. Also, the society has its own impressions about entrepreneurship, which can also directly or indirectly can influence the entrepreneurial activity, and if it is an attractive career path to take.

Other perceptions that affect the entrepreneurial culture are the prestige that is given to entrepreneurs, the tolerance and acceptance of failure and the number of people who are considering to be an entrepreneur.

When a society has a better perception about entrepreneurship, there are better chances that more entrepreneurs, investors and organizations want to take the risk to undertake and support entrepreneurs (Observatorio Nacional del Emprendedor, 2015).

Hofstede (1980 cited in Brownson, 2013) states that an individual can be embraced to act in an entrepreneurial form inside an organization and in other areas of life when the person is motivated to find itself. This shows that the individual will belong to a distinguished cultural group, since his entrepreneurial activities will differ him from other individuals.

The Three Levels of an Entrepreneurial Culture

Kundu (2009 cited in Brownson, 2013) classified culture in three different levels which contribute to its formation, as it can be seen in the next figure.

Levels of constituent of entrepreneurial culture brownson
Levels of constituent of entrepreneurial culture (Brownson, 2013)

The invisible level

business person work indoors concept

Two constituents of the unconscious and invisible level are the attributes and the values.

The entrepreneurial attributes are key natural and nurtured indicators that show people who can be turned into an entrepreneur. This set of characteristics have been recognized to be a driver to understand and foster entrepreneurship.

The importance of the entrepreneurial attributes relies on being a critical factor in influencing the individual to undertake and start a business. To encourage entrepreneurial attributes, it has to be influenced the development and realization of business ideas.

If it is desired to influence the number of people that can be turned into an entrepreneur, the focus should be done into their attributes. Nevertheless, the  entrepreneur has to be also nurtured with the appropriate training and experience to encourage their entrepreneurial attributes (Brownson, 2013).

The entrepreneurial values are the conceptions, which could be explicit or implicit, and which in this case are distinctive of entrepreneurs, that shows the desires of selecting between the different course of actions.

This values are the drivers to take decisions. They are the reflection of the entrepreneur’s conscious view and make him move to decide towards an action. The values show the way that humane behave.

For entrepreneurs the values not only show what will be the decisions that they will make, but also they show how they will approach a new venture.

As academics have found, the existence of entrepreneurial values on an individual affect also the rate of the creation of new businesses, therefore for governments who are willing to increase the number of jobs, should also give importance to shape the individual values towards entrepreneurship (Brownson, 2013).

As mentioned by Mourdoukoutas and Papadimitrou (2002 cited in Brownson, 2013), the values that are associated with entrepreneurship are autonomy, the freedom to act independently, innovativeness, freedom of experimentation, risk taking, ability to take initiatives and competitive aggressiveness.

In other hand, despite the cultural origin of the entrepreneur, Morris and Schindehutte’s (2005 cited in Brownson 2013) stated that entrepreneurs share values when starting a business like independence, innovativeness, honesty and hard work.

The semi-invisible level

group of people brainstorming sitting on the

On the second level of semi-visible or semi-conscious, here is the entrepreneurial mindset.

The entrepreneurial mindset is the attitude an entrepreneur responds to a certain object in a favorable or unfavorable manner based on a learned predisposition.

The attitudes are the fundaments for the human behavior to be motivated and feel personal accomplishment.

The entrepreneurial attitudes influence and have been influenced by the experiences that the individual has lived, and how he thinks and feel about what he went through.

If individuals have participated into governmental programs and policies that try to foster cultural entrepreneurship, their experience on this event can have an effect on their mindset towards entrepreneurship (Brownson, 2013).

Hatten and Ruhland’s study of the student’s attitude towards entrepreneurship in a Small Business Institute program (1995 cited in Brownson 2013) showed that they have a positive change towards entrepreneurship, enhancing them the will to become future entrepreneurs.

Although this was one sample of students, different studies have shown that students who participate in different entrepreneurial programs with a well-structured plan tend to be enhanced in a rich entrepreneurial culture (Kumara & Sahasranam, 2009).

The visible level

businesswoman presenting to colleagues at a

The visible level shows the entrepreneurial behavior.

The entrepreneurial behavior is the direct act of the individual to start a new business.

As defined by Williams (2010), entrepreneurial behavior is seen as the combination of actions made by the entrepreneur, that are constantly adjusted and defined to set the opportunity until it is positioned and accepted in the market.

The result of this action is the creation of a new business.


Brownson, C. D., 2013. Fostering Entrepreneurial Culture: A Conceptualization. European Journal of Business and Management.

Observatorio Nacional del Emprendedor, 2015. Análisis Transversal del Gasto en Políticas de Apoyo a Emprendedores, MiPYMES.. Ciudad de México: INADEM.

Sánchez, M. & Martínez, P., 2017. Metodología para la Creación de Empresas Basadas en Investigación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, México: Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor.