Entrepreneurship and Human Capital: Empirical study using a survey of entrepreneurs in Japan

Author Name BABA Ryota  (Booz & Company (Japan) Inc.) /MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. May 2013 13-E-049
Research Project Empirical Studies on the International Comparison of Open Innovation
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Entrepreneurship activities are low in Japan, and it is often discussed that possible reasons are the lack of venture capital and a rigid labor market. However, it is rare to find a study that analyzes the human capital aspect of entrepreneurs based on a large scale sample survey. In this study, the characteristics of the human capital of entrepreneurs, such as education and job experience, are analyzed based on a survey of entrepreneurs conducted by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI) in 2012. The entire process of entrepreneurship is divided into three phases—(1) planning, (2) execution, and (3) achieving success in business—and the determinants of each step, not only the education and job background, but also personal relationships with the entrepreneur and his/her personality, are investigated. It is found that broad experiences while attending universities such as extra-curriculum activities are an important factor at the planning and execution stage. In contrast, broader job experiences but within a limited number of companies can explain the probability of entrepreneurship success well. Therefore, promotion of entrepreneurship activity in Japan including forming a spin-off company requires both a variety of extra-curriculum activities experienced at universities and facilitating employees to develop broad professional experiences.

*This is the English version of the Japanese Discussion Paper (13-J-016).