From ‘Great Expectations’ to ‘Hard Times’: A Longitudinal Study of Creative Graduate New Ventures

Richard Hanage, Jonathan Scott, Mark Davies

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Abstract

Purpose: This longitudinal study investigated what happened to graduates when they tried to start a digital creative business on graduating. Approach: Seven creative ‘nascent graduate entrepreneurs’ were followed for up to five years. They had been independently assessed as having ‘promise of business success’, but were young and lacking experience. The graduates were followed mainly through six-monthly semi-structured interviews, which followed their business, creative and personal development. Findings: There are three main contributions to the academic literature. First, nearly all the graduates moved on to employment so the study provides real-time data on businesses from inception to closure. Second, events in their personal lives, for instance the arrival of children, had a big impact on their business/personal decisions. Third, although the initial transition from ‘creative student’ to ‘creative entrepreneur’ was not easy it did attract plenty of business support. The subsequent attempts to make the transition from being an unsuccessful creative entrepreneur to financial stability were harder, with little external assistance being available. Practical Implications: The insights gained have practical implications for the support of creative graduate start-ups and for their on-going business or personal support as well as raising issues about the effectiveness of enterprise education and regional start-up support policy. Originality/Value: The longitudinal approach has brought new insights and indicates several areas where more research would be valuable, especially in dealing with the consequences of unsuccessful business ventures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-38
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

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