Portfolio Entrepreneurs and Serial Entrepreneurs
This paper covers habitual entrepreneurs and the novice entrepreneurs and particularly
compares the characters of serial, portfolio and novice entrepreneurs. A novice entrepreneur is an
individual who has no prior minority or majority experience in owning a business. Habitual
entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are those people who have or have had the minority of majority
ownership stake in more than one business. The paper tries to answer whether there is anything
special in portfolio entrepreneurs than the serial entrepreneurs.
Portfolio Entrepreneurs and Serial Entrepreneurs
A novice entrepreneur is an individual who has no prior minority or majority experience
in owning a business. A habitual entrepreneur is an individual who has or have had a minority of
majority ownership stake in more than one business. A good example of a habitual entrepreneur
is “David” who is the owner of OffQuip saga and has stake ownership in two other independent
businesses that are partners of OffQuip saga. A habitual entrepreneur could have purchased or
established the business before. Based on this definitions, it means that a habitual entrepreneur
was once a novice entrepreneur. Two categories of habitual entrepreneurs exist; portfolio and
serial entrepreneurs. A serial entrepreneur is an individual who has closed or who early closed at
least one business which he/she had minority or majority ownership stake in, and presently the
individual has a minority or majority ownership in just one independent enterprise. A portfolio
entrepreneur, on the other hand, is an individual who presently has minority or majority
ownership stakes in more than one independent business ventures.
Something special about portfolio entrepreneurs is their level of experience and resource
accumulation. According to Kolvereid, (2006) portfolio entrepreneurs have more diversified
experiences and accumulate more resources than serial or novice entrepreneurs. This could be
true owing that portfolio entrepreneurs ownership stakes in more than one independent
enterprises. Overly, portfolio entrepreneurs provide attractive growth perspective than serial or
novice entrepreneurs (Kolvereid & Ronning, 2006).
An aspect of finance is essential for any business. Finance determines the survival of
business, and if poorly managed, it can lead to the collapse of a company. Companies with
managers who have good experience in finance management thrive to higher levels and therefore
offer attractive growth perspectives. Another special thing with portfolio entrepreneurs is that
they have new ways of managing finance than the serial entrepreneurs. Owing that they involved
in more than independent business, they develop new methodologies of finance management
than serial whose new approaches are based on their experiences before closure of earlier
Creativity is vital for sustenance of the customers. The needs of customers change over
time, and it is beneficial for entrepreneurs to come up with product designs and services that
perfectively meet the customers' demands. In line with habitual entrepreneurs, they use new
approaches to managing and developing personnel. Additionally, they develop new ways that
can be used to manage quality control and research and design (R&D). Creativity involves
developing a new structure, system or procedure within an organization. Both serial and portfolio
entrepreneurs find new markets and employ new marketing strategies in existing market. They
also have new ways of dealing with governmental and various external agencies. However, Rosa
(1998) indicates that portfolio entrepreneurs possess the higher trait of creativity in addressing
the above issues than the serial entrepreneurs.
Rosa, (1996) explains innovation as that quality of developing new products or new
qualities of the existing products. Innovation is developing new methods of production or
modifying the existing methods. It can also be defined as the process of developing new cultures
especially by inducing innovative people at lower levels (Rosa & Scott, 1996). The habitual
entrepreneurs are highly innovative than the novice entrepreneurs. According to Ucbasaran &
Paul (2010), portfolio entrepreneurs are better than the serials in terms of innovation. The
portfolio entrepreneurs introduce new cultures especially by inducing innovative people at lower
ranks than the serial entrepreneurs.
Westhead (2003) indicates that a portfolio entrepreneur is affiliated with experience and
cognitive mindset which provide him/her with higher understanding regarding why and the way
she/he owns more than one business at the same time. This is not the case in a serial entrepreneur
who once owned more than one business but not at the moment (Westhead, 2003). A research
conducted by Westhead (2011) indicated that novice entrepreneurs had lower creativity
statements than the serial and the portfolio entrepreneurs. This study involved a sample of 196
entrepreneurs of which 96 were novice, 39 serial and 61 portfolio entrepreneurs. The creativity
statements of novice, serial and portfolio entrepreneurs corresponded to 51.6%, 60.9% and
71.8% respectively. These statistics suggest that portfolio entrepreneurs have higher experience
and cognitive mindset than either the serial or novice entrepreneurs (Westhead, 2011).
This essay compared habitual and novice entrepreneurs. The comparison was based
between the habitual entrepreneurs and between habitual and novice entrepreneurs. From the
discussions covered in this paper, it can be concluded that portfolio entrepreneurs are better than
serial or novice entrepreneurs in terms of resource accumulation, finance management,
creativity, experience and cognitive mindset.
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Ucbasaran, & Paul, W. (2010). The nature of entrepreneurial experience, business of failure and
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Westhead, P. (2011). Experience And Cognition:Do Novice, Serial And Portfolio Entrepreneurs
Westhead, U. (2003). Differences between Private Firms Owned by Novice, Serial and Portfolio
entrepreneurs: Implications for Policy-Makers and Practitioners. Regional Studies, 187-