Founder personality and start-up subsidies

Chapman, Gary ; Hottenrott, Hanna

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-646139
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2023
The title of a journal, publication series: ZEW Discussion Papers
Volume: 2023-008
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: Sonstige Einrichtungen > ZEW - Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des ZEW (Leibniz-Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung) > ZEW Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: G24 , L26 , O25 , O31,
Keywords (English): start-up subsidies , start-up financing , entrepreneurship policy , entrepreneurial orientation , big five personality traits , venture capital
Abstract: Start-up subsidies play an important role in supporting start-up innovation and performance. However, what characteristics help and hinder start-ups to seek start-up subsidies remains unclear. We study whether and how founder personality, as captured by the big five personality traits and entrepreneurial orientation, impacts entrepreneurs’ seeking of start-up subsidies. We argue that greater founder openness, extraversion and entrepreneurial orientation enhance seeking of start-up subsidies, while greater founder agreeableness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism inhibits it. Additionally, we argue that entrepreneurial orientation plays a mediating role in the relationship between big five personality traits and start-up subsidies. Drawing on a large multi-sector sample of German start-ups, we find strong evidence for a positive role of founder entrepreneurial orientation. While we find little evidence for a direct effect of a founder’s big five personality, we find evidence of an indirect effect through its influence on entrepreneurial orientation.

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