Conference Dates

January 12-16, 2003


This paper adopts a neo-Darwinian perspective that the entrepreneurial process includes distinctive features that “select” individuals with certain characteristics for participation and success. These individuals are attracted to entrepreneurial situations and their compatible traits enable them to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurial contexts. Furthermore, entrepreneurial environments may reinforce these traits in entrepreneurs, which develop over time in response to the requirements of entrepreneurial activity (Littunen, 2000). The paper begins with a description of early-stage entrepreneurial contexts, considers individual traits that accommodate those contexts, and concludes with a metaphor of entrepreneurs as jazz musicians that captures similarities in context and behavior.