Becoming an entrepreneur: opportunities and identity transitions

Purpose
This paper aims to report an empirically grounded theoretical framework within which to understand the role of entrepreneurial identity development in the discovery, development and exploitation of opportunity, and to elaborate on how these identity transitions both mobilise and constrain female entrepreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach
A qualitative case study-based research design was used in this study. Primary and secondary data were collected from eight female participants (all of whom can be categorised as “mumpreneurs”) and analysed to inform the theoretical framework that is the foundation of the paper.

Findings
The authors describe how identity conflict, role congruence and reciprocal identity creation play a critical role in venture creation as a form of entrepreneurship. Drawing on the constructs of identification, self-verification and identity enactment, the authors build a theoretical framework for understanding entrepreneurial identity transitions in relation to opportunity-seeking behaviours.

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