Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience

Nine fundamental elements covering the experience of Entrepreneurs of All Kinds ™.

Emerging research insights from engagement with those practicing in the traditional context of starting new businesses (New Venture Entrepreneurs) and those working within existing organizations (Entrepreneurs Inside) are grouped into a set of nine fundamental categories—what we call Elements of the Entrepreneur Experience. The elements are not meant to be exhaustive—the contemporary entrepreneur experience is far too complex to properly capture in a single study. Instead, the elements call attention to converging insights critical to the overall entrepreneur experience and point to opportunities for how we teach and support entrepreneurs of all kinds.


Self-image — identifying with the entrepreneurial path as a viable and attainable possibility for oneself.


Stories—the universal language—enlist and teach others, and create and communicate the intangible, a vision.


The need for membership, where common experiences, purpose, values and behaviors can be shared.


The factors in a specific context or environment that heighten or diminish entrepreneurial activity.

Social Capital

Acceptance into social networks that amplify reputation, trust, currency and leverage.


Behavior that allows one to "act to know" when the situation is  (currently) unknowable.


The experience of gaining knowledge and eliminating habits that no longer serve.


Commitment of resources and/or support to capture a new opportunity.


The role of others in ideation and execution.