While some entrepreneurs are lone players struggling to get small businesses off the ground on a shoestring, others take on partners armed with greater access to capital and other resources. In these situations, new firms may acquire financing from venture capitalists, angel investors, hedge funds, crowdsourcing or through more traditional sources such as bank loans.
Dating back to the time of the medieval guilds in Germany, a craftsperson required special permission to operate as an entrepreneur, the small proof of competence (Kleiner Befähigungsnachweis), which restricted training of apprentices to craftspeople who held a Meister certificate. This institution was introduced in 1908 after a period of so-called freedom of trade (Gewerbefreiheit, introduced in 1871) in the German Reich. However, proof of competence was not required to start a business. In 1935 and in 1953, greater proof of competence was reintroduced (Großer Befähigungsnachweis Kuhlenbeck), which required craftspeople to obtain a Meister apprentice-training certificate before being permitted to set up a new business.[28]
Scholars interested in nascent entrepreneurship tend to focus less on the single act of opportunity exploitation and more on the series of actions in new venture emergence,[66][69],.[68] Indeed, nascent entrepreneurs undertake numerous entrepreneurial activities, including actions that make their businesses more concrete to themselves and others. For instance, nascent entrepreneurs often look for and purchase facilities and equipment; seek and obtain financial backing, form legal entities, organize teams; and dedicate all their time and energy to their business[70]

A nascent entrepreneur is someone in the process of establishing a business venture.[55] In this observation, the nascent entrepreneur can be seen as pursuing an opportunity, i.e. a possibility to introduce new services or products, serve new markets, or develop more efficient production methods in a profitable manner.[56][57] But before such a venture is actually established, the opportunity is just a venture idea.[58] In other words, the pursued opportunity is perceptual in nature, propped by the nascent entrepreneur's personal beliefs about the feasibility of the venturing outcomes the nascent entrepreneur seeks to achieve.[59][60][61] Its prescience and value cannot be confirmed ex ante but only gradually, in the context of the actions that the nascent entrepreneur undertakes towards establishing the venture,[62] Ultimately, these actions can lead to a path that the nascent entrepreneur deems no longer attractive or feasible, or result in the emergence of a (viable) business. In this sense, over time, the nascent venture can move towards being discontinued or towards emerging successfully as an operating entity.

Communication is pivotal in the role of entrepreneurship because it enables leaders to convince potential investors, partners and employees about the feasibility of a venture.[97] Entrepreneurs need to communicate effectively to shareholders.[98] Nonverbal elements in speech such as the tone of voice, the look in the sender's eyes, body language, hand gestures and state of emotions are also important communication tools. The Communication Accommodation Theory posits that throughout communication people will attempt to accommodate or adjust their method of speaking to others.[99] Face Negotiation Theory describes how people from different cultures manage conflict negotiation in order to maintain "face".[100] Hugh Rank's "intensify and downplay" communications model can be used by entrepreneurs who are developing a new product or service. Rank argues that entrepreneurs need to be able to intensify the advantages of their new product or service and downplay the disadvantages in order to persuade others to support their venture.[101]

According to Paul Reynolds, founder of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, "by the time they reach their retirement years, half of all working men in the United States probably have a period of self-employment of one or more years; one in four may have engaged in self-employment for six or more years. Participating in a new business creation is a common activity among U.S. workers over the course of their careers".[36] In recent years, entrepreneurship has been claimed as a major driver of economic growth in both the United States and Western Europe.

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