Towards a search for the meaning of entrepreneurship Academic Article uri icon


  • Purpose – The primary purpose of this literature review paper is to address the question why it is difficult to define entrepreneurship despite the amount of research that has taken place in the field. In addition, the paper also aims to demonstrate how the struggle to define entrepreneurship has impacted on entrepreneurial careers in Kenya. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reviewed literature on different approaches used by researchers in the struggle to define entrepreneurship. It focused mainly on the trait, behavioral and opportunity identification approaches. It critically examined the extent to which each approach has attempted to explain what entrepreneurship is, and suggests research questions, methodologies and techniques that will do justice to the complexity of defining entrepreneurship. Findings – The findings of the literature review showed that none of the approaches used to define entrepreneurship gives a comprehensive picture of entrepreneurship. There is a lack of a common definition of entrepreneurship. Following the absence of this common definition, professionals in Kenya do not see themselves as entrepreneurs. The researchers and educators must define what they mean when attempting to define entrepreneurship. Rather than concentrate on one part – the entrepreneur; behavior or opportunity identification – they must focus on the whole entrepreneurial process. In addition, researchers and educators need to study the entrepreneur before, during and after the entrepreneurial process. Research limitations/implications – Further research should be conducted to relate entrepreneurship to other occupations. Each approach needs to expand in this direction. Originality/value – Research on the impact of the meaning of entrepreneurship on careers in Kenya and other contexts so far has not been conducted. Keywords Entrepreneurialism, Small to medium-sized enterprises Paper type Literature review

publication date

  • 2010


  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Small to medium sized enterprises

number of pages

  • 17

start page

  • 110

end page

  • 127


  • 34


  • 2