Entrepreneurship in times of crisis:
Exploring ‘necessity’ entrepreneurs’ experiences in Ireland, UK and Spain.
Dr. Lucia García, Dr. Lucia Sell-Trujillo, Dr. Paul Donnelly, Dr Miguel Imas
Entrepreneurial activity among the unemployed is a strategy generally seen as a quick way to promote wealth creation and a dynamic economy recovery in countries with high levels of unemployment. Yet despite support from Governments and positive press campaigns; the uptake of entrepreneurial activities does not seem as successful as expected. A pilot study conducted in Spain and Ireland suggests that most would-be entrepreneurs in these countries do not recognize themselves in the institutionalized narrative of entrepreneurs as the empowered, creative and independent individuals who ‘put an innovative product in the market’. It is mainly necessity, rather than opportunity, that is pushing, rather than pulling them to become entrepreneurial. The process is also experienced as more fragmented and fraught with difficulties than the official narrative outlines. This misalignment between personal experience and the official narrative seems to lead to a lower engagement with Governmental policies and a lack of trust in institutional support. This research aims to explore further these findings looking at the personal experiences of Irish, UK and Spanish entrepreneurs to understand better the social and psychological determinants and benefits that undertaking entrepreneurial activities entails. The research will (i) complement research focused solely on increasing wealth and business creation, (ii) expand our understanding of entrepreneurship as a process with implications for social change and innovation, (iii) ultimately inform policy by aiding entrepreneurial engagement with institutional bodies.