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Entrepreneurship as the business of the household

Carter, Sara and Mwaura, Samuel (2015) Entrepreneurship as the business of the household. In: Entrepreneurship in Cities. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, pp. 201-222. ISBN 978-1784711993

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Within the canon of entrepreneurship research, the entrepreneur’s household context has largely been neglected, with studies focusing either on the individual actor as an economic entity or on the ‘entrepreneurial’ aspects of the venture, such as start-up, innovation and growth performance. Even within the emergent field of family business research, interest has primarily been on the enterprise, with the family and household typically viewed only from the perspective of how they enhance or impede the fortunes of the business. While the crucial support provided to new ventures by households and family members in the form of financial, labour and affective support is widely recognised, little research has focused either on the resource contributions of family members or on the more fundamental issue of the impact of the business on the family and household. In contrast, for individual agents it is likely that the wellbeing of the household is a paramount concern; family businesses are, after all, ‘founded to support the family, not the other way around’, (Stafford et al., 1999, p.198). In this chapter we explore the ways in which entrepreneurial ventures may impact on the household, unpacking the relationship between the two nominally separate, but ‘inextricably intertwined’ institutions of the business and the household (Aldrich and Cliff, 2003, p.573).