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The Illusions of Entrepreneurship

July 21, 2010

Scott Shane’s 2008 book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship is an eye-opener.  Shattering every truism about entrepreneurship and business start-ups, Shane reveals that:

1. the US is not a particularly entrepreneurial nation;
2. most entrepreneurs pick industries with high business failure rates;
3. most start-ups are home-based and remain tiny;
4. venture capitalists provide financing to only one out every 1,000 new businesses;
5. most entrepreneurs work very long hours only to watch their businesses fail;
6. women start businesses at a lower rate than men, and set lower expectations because their major goal is to create a flexible work environment;
7. black entrepreneurship is rare and failure rates are high because of a serious shortage of capital; and
8. the most important predictors of business success are adequate capitalization and picking the right industry.
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