Attracting the entrepreneurial potential: A multilevel institutional approach

Sebastian Aparicio, David Urbano, Pekka Stenholm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The research on institutions’ role in entrepreneurship acknowledges that formal and informal institutions matter. However, previous research has stressed less the co-existence and interaction between individual- and country-level factors that shape entrepreneurial potential, population of skillful individuals with no entrepreneurial intentions, across countries. In this study, we investigate the multilevel influence of informal institutions on entrepreneurial potential. Drawing from institutional theory and multilevel approach in a sample of 880,576 individuals for the period 2006–2016, we find that the informal country-level institutional forces compensate the lack of individual-level factors among those with low entrepreneurial potential. For instance, media coverage on entrepreneurship or education can enhance the entrepreneurial potential in its lower end. Hence, our findings provide novel evidence on the relevance and interaction of the informal institutions, and how they increase the entrepreneurial potential across countries. Our findings suggest policy implications regarding educational programs to close the gap between entrepreneurially skilled non-potential and skilled potential individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120748
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Entrepreneurial potential
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Informal institutions
  • Institutional theory
  • Multi-level analysis


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