A pressing question in entrepreneurial research is where opportunities come from. Prior research indicates that some opportunities stem from known parameters and outcomes; some are discovered through engagement with unknown but knowable factors; and others are unknowable until brought into being through a creative process. This paper explores the second and more prevailing view in entrepreneurial research – that individuals discover business opportunity – and examines how high-growth entrepreneurs perceive opportunity through engagement with the world. Survey results, based on responses from 165 women entrepreneurs in high-growth startups, indicate that individuals with a strong discover mindset act and think in ways that support opportunity perception. Coupled with a belief in her abilities, the entrepreneur is more likely to move from opportunity perception to new venture creation. Results from semi-structured interviews with women from the same population elucidate the survey findings and yield implications for entrepreneurial theory and practice.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/sneill/15/