Entrepreneurial teams

The notion of entrepreneurial teams has attracted discussion and debate among researchers for a number of years. While many now agree that the lone entrepreneur is potentially misleading concept because it overlooks how a range of people contribute to the realisation of the entrepreneur’s vision, there is disagreement over how the ‘entrepreneurial team’ should be defined.

Cooney (2005) gives a helpful introduction and overview of this debate. Building on the work of Kamm and colleagues, Cooney offers the following definition of an entrepreneurial team:

“…two or more individuals who have a significant financial interest and participate actively in the development of the enterprise.” (2005: 229).

Another writer who has contributed to debates around the definition of entrepreneurial teams is Schjoedt who offers a broader definition of the concept:

“…two or more persons who have an interest, both financial and otherwise, in and commitment to the venture’s future and success; whose work is interdependent in the pursuit of common goals and venture success; who are accountable to the entrepreneurial team and for the venture; who are considered to be at the executive level with executive responsibility in the early phases of the venture, including founding and pre-start up; and who are seen as a social entity by themselves and by others.”


You will recognise the similarities in the definitions along with some differences in emphases. Perhaps the key point to take from these definitions and discussions is that the image of the lone, heroic entrepreneur offers just one take on how enterprises emerge and develop.

Cooney TM (2005) Editorial: What is an Entrepreneurial Team? International Small Business Journal 23(3): 226-235

Schjoedt L (DATE) Entrepreneurial Teams: Definition and Determinants. URL: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

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