Research Paper Entrepreneurs


Rania Labaki, EDHEC Business School
Ramona K. Zachary, Baruch College, The City University of New York
Thomas S. Lyons, Baruch College, The City University of New York
Chandra S. Mishra, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University

Advisory Board:

Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina
William J. Baumol, New York University
Guido Corbetta, Bocconi University

Editorial Board:

Gary J. Castrogiovanni, Florida Atlantic University
Massimo G. Colombo, Politecnico di Milano
Frank Hoy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Gopalkrishnan Iyer, Florida Atlantic University
William E. Jackson III, University of Alabama
Martha A. Martinez, DePaul University
J. William Petty, Baylor University
Panikkos Z. Poutziouris, Cyprus International Institute of Management
Edward G. Rogoff, Baruch College, The City University of New York
Roy Thurik, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Howard Van Auken, Iowa State University


Rania Labaki, EDHEC Business School

Rania Labaki is Associate Professor of Management at EDHEC Business School, where she teaches and conducts research at the intersection of the fields of finance, entrepreneurship and family business. She serves as Academic Director of the Family Business Global Executive MBA and member of the Family Business Centre. Prior to joining EDHEC Business School, Dr Labaki was Associate Professor of Management and Director of the Finance and Wealth Management Master Program at the University of Bordeaux in France. She was also Visiting Scholar at Baruch College – The City University of New York and at Zeppelin University in Germany.

Dr Labaki is actively associated with leading international organizations specialized in family business education, research, and advising. She served as Co-Chair of the International Family Enterprise Research Academy Conference in 2012 and as Guest Editor of the Entrepreneurship Research Journal’s Special Issue on the Emotional Dimension of Organizations in 2013. Her recent research interests revolve around the relationship between the family’s emotional dynamics and the entrepreneurial and financial behavior of family businesses. She holds a Ph.D. in Management Sciences from the University of Bordeaux and is recipient of several international awards recognizing her academic contribution to the family business field.

Ramona K. Zachary, Baruch College, The City University of New York

Ramona K. Zachary is the Academic Director of the Lawrence N. Field Programs and the Peter S. Jonas Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management of the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College, The City University of New York located in New York City. Before joining Baruch College, Dr. Zachary was Professor and the J. Thomas Clark Fellow of Entrepreneurship and Personal Enterprise at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Professor Zachary teaches and conducts research related to family businesses and the owning family's internal social and economic dynamics, the effects of the family on the family business viability over time, the economic impact of family businesses on communities, minority business ownership, and gender issues within family firms as well as entrepreneurship issues and research. She has published numerous articles on family business, home-based businesses, family labor force, family management and decision making theory and public and private policies related to businesses and families. She has edited two books entitled, Home-Based Employment and Family Life and The Entrepreneurial Family.

Most recently, Dr. Zachary is serving as a Co-Editor of the new Entrepreneurship Research Journal with De Gruyter. She received her Ph.D. from Purdue University and is associated with several professional organizations including the International Family Enterprise Research Academy and is currently serving on its Board and as the Director of its Research and Publications Subcommittee.

Thomas S. Lyons

Thomas S. Lyons is the Lawrence N. Field Family Chair in Entrepreneurship and Professor of Management in the Zicklin School of Business at Baruch College of the City University of New York. His research specializations are the relationship between entrepreneurship and community economic development and social entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of eleven books and numerous articles and papers on these subjects, and has edited a three-volume set on social entrepreneurship (Social Entrepreneurship: How Businesses Can Transform Society). Lyons is a member of Baruch College’s research team, which serves as Babson College’s U.S. partner for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Project. In 2011, Dr. Lyons received the Ted K. Bradshaw Outstanding Research Award from the Community Development Society.

Chandra S. Mishra

Chandra S. Mishra, PhD, is Professor of Management in the Department of Management Programs, College of Business, Florida Atlantic University. He is co-author of The Theory of Entrepreneurship (2014), and author of Getting Funded (2015) and Creating and Sustaining Competitive Advantage (2017). His interests include finance, strategy, and entrepreneurship, including venture design, venture capital, management incentives, technology commercialization, private equity, corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions. Professors Chandra S. Mishra and Ramona K. Zachary co-founded the Entrepreneurship Research Journal in 2011.

Advisory Board:

Howard E. Aldrich, University of North Carolina

Howard E. Aldrich is Kenan Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he won the Carlyle Sitterson Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2002. He is chair of the Department of Sociology and Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, in the Kenan Flagler Business School and a Faculty Research Associate in the Strategy Area of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business. In 2000, he received two honors: the Swedish Foundation of Small Business Research named him the Entrepreneurship Researcher of the Year and the Organization and Management Division of the Academy of Management presented him with an award for a Distinguished Career of Scholarly Achievement. His 1999 book, Organizations Evolving, won the Academy of Management George Terry Award as the best management book published in 1998-99, and was co-winner of the Max Weber Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Organizations, Occupations, and Work. His 1979 book, Organizations and Environments, was reprinted in 2007 as a "classic" by Stanford University press. His books have been translated into Japanese and Farsi.

His research focuses on the conditions under which new ventures are founded, with special attention to the composition of startup teams. Over the past decade, he has been a co-investigator in two large panel studies of nascent entrepreneurs: The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics I and II. Using these nationally representative multi-wave data sets, he has collaborated with Martin Ruef and Nancy Carter to investigate the extent to which new venture teams are homophilous by gender, race, and occupational composition. Using the PSED I with Phillip Kim, he's investigated the relative influence of human capital, social capital, and financial capital on participation in new venture creation. In another project with Steve Bradley, Dean Shepherd, and Johan Wiklund, published in the Strategic Management Journal, he has investigated the impact of organizational founding conditions on the extent to which new firms can survive radical environmental changes. That study showed that independent new firms have higher initial mortality rates but survive environmental turbulence better than new subsidiaries of other firms. Beginning in the 1980s, he pioneered the cross national study of social networks and new venture creation, focusing particularly on gender differences in networking strategies.

William J. Baumol, New York University

William J. Baumol is the Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of the Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the Stern School of Business at New York University; and senior economist and professor emeritus at Princeton University.

Professor Baumol's primary areas of research include economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation, industrial organization, antitrust economics and regulation, and economics of the arts. He is author of more than 40 books and more than 500 articles in professional journals and newspapers. His most recent books include The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship, 2010; The Invention of Enterprise: Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times, 2010; Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity (with Robert E. Litan and Carl J. Schramm), 2007; The Free-Market Innovation Machine: Analyzing the Growth Miracle of Capitalism, 2002; and Global Trade and Conflicting National Interests (with Ralph E. Gomory), 2000.

Professor Baumol is the former president of the American Economic Association, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Eastern Economic Association and the Atlantic Economic Society. His honors and awards include twelve honorary degrees and membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei (Italy), and the British Academy. In May of 2009, two Chinese universities, Wuhan University and Zhejiang Gongshang University, named Centers for Entrepreneurial Research in Professor Baumol's honor.

Professor Baumol was born on February 26, 1922 in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Social Science from the College of the City of New York in 1942 and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of London in 1949. He has been teaching at NYU for more than 36 years and taught at Princeton University for 43 years, where he is now Professor Emeritus and Senior Research Economist.

Guido Corbetta, Bocconi University

Guido Corbetta is AIdAF-Alberto Falck professor of strategic management in family business at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. AIdAF-Alberto Falck chair is the first one sponsored in the history of Bocconi University. Dr. Corbetta has been Dean of Bocconi Graduate School from 2005 to 2010 and the founder and managing director of the Center for research on Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurs at Bocconi University (2004-2009). He has been research fellow and visiting professor at IESE and EAE in Barcelona, AESE in Lisbon, Loyola University in Chicago. He is member of the Editorial Board of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Family Business Review; he is a Fellow of IFERA (International Family Enterprise Research Academy) and has been member and President of the International Committee, Enterpreneurship Division, Academy of Management from 2004-2008.

Raised in a family where parents and uncles owned businesses ranging from distribution to fasteners, Guido Corbetta graduated from Bocconi University (B.A. and PhD) and studied abroad in Japan, Jouy-en-Josas in France, Chicago. Guido and his wife Rossella live in Milano, Italy, with their four children. 

In addition to the ERJ Editorial Board, we utilize 800+ scholars who also serve as reviewers.

What Will Entrepreneurial Success (and Struggle) Look Like in 2017?

It's an interesting time to be an entrepreneur. As of 2015, Pew Research reported, 3 in 10 U.S. jobs were held by self-employed entrepreneurs and the workers they hired, making entrepreneurship a major driver of the economy. Startup culture supplies high-profile role models who've taken their ideas and turned them into massively successful companies—which strive to retain and scale their entrepreneurial ethos as they grow. And as digital marketing becomes more and more accessible, entrepreneurs can potentially reach a vast audience on a small-and-scrappy budget.

There's also evidence that today's entrepreneurs are especially serious about their businesses: per Pew, "The share of workers who are self-employed and have incorporated businesses rose from 2.9% in 1990 to 3.7% in 2014, and the share of workers who are unincorporated fell." For many entrepreneurs, running their own business isn't an experiment or a transitional phase; they're laying the groundwork for something permanent.

On the other hand, those who aren't incorporating and growing are often struggling. The Small Business Administration has reported that a third of new businesses fail within their first two years, and half don't make it past Year 5. And other would-be entrepreneurs may be sitting things out because they can't get started in the first place: 2016 U.S. Census data finds new business creation heading toward a 40-year low.

It's Drip's goal to make marketing automation accessible to every business, so we're deeply invested in the success of entrepreneurs at all stages of growth. And while we get thousands of interesting data points from talking to our customers, we also wondered what might be revealed by a broader view of the state of entrepreneurship heading into 2017.

That's why we're proud to announce our first annual Entrepreneurship Report. What follows is a snapshot of U.S. entrepreneurs' success and struggles right now, as suggested by a panel of nearly 2,000 company founders.

If you're an entrepreneur, consider this report competitive intelligence on what's working for your peers, how your business compares, and which opportunities for growth you may be overlooking. This is, first and foremost, for you.

Of course, these findings should also be highly interesting to B2B marketers and other professionals serving business owners. The report is also an up-to-date look at the motivations and challenges facing this population, and should highlight opportunities for attracting and serving them more effectively.

Our survey questions address three main topics:

  • Growth: What approaches are U.S. entrepreneurs taking to grow their businesses today—and are those approaches working?
  • Challenges: Where are entrepreneurs struggling, and how can they overcome the barriers they face?
  • Motivations: What underlying goals and values drive entrepreneurs to keep going in the face of those challenges?

While assessing the answers to these questions, we'll also point out opportunities for success that entrepreneurs in 2017 will be uniquely positioned to seize.

Survey Methodology

In July 2016, Drip commissioned a survey of 1,884 U.S. internet users who identified themselves as entrepreneurs or company founders. The respondents were selected while viewing websites on the Google Consumer Surveys publisher platform. Not all respondents answered every question, but we were able to collect at least 900 responses for each question.

The survey sample skewed slightly younger, more female, and more Midwestern than the U.S. population as a whole, but was otherwise demographically similar.

We screened respondents by asking about their current work situation. Because we were also curious whether entrepreneurs' perspectives would change the longer they'd been in business, we asked those who identified themselves as entrepreneurs or company founders how long they'd been in business.

From this mix of new and established entrepreneurs, we gleaned insights that both support and challenge conventional views about entrepreneurship.

How long have you been running your business?

  • 43.5% of the panel had been running their business for 5 years or less.
  • 55.5% of the panel had been running their business for over 5 years.

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