Identifying the Learning Sources and Methods of Novice Entrepreneurs

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Psychology, University of Tehran, Iran

3 MA. in Entrepreneurship Management, Faculty of Entrepreneurship, University of Tehran, Iran


The issue of entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurs’ different learning methods are addressed to attract and empower young interested people to create and manage business activities. Although learning has a crucial role in the process of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and researchers lack a comprehensive pattern for explaining learning in terms of sources, methods, as well as entrepreneurs’ performance. Therefore, the present study seeks to present a pattern for early stage entrepreneurs’ learning sources and methods in Iran. This is a qualitative research including an in-depth and semi-structured interview. Participants of the study include 12 novices while highly-educated entrepreneurs were chosen using purposeful sampling. They were interviewed and the data were encoded in three steps as follows: determining oral evidence, identifying learning methods, and relating the learning methods to the sources. As a result of this study, amateur entrepreneurs’ learning methods and sources have been identified and presented in light of different stages of the entrepreneurial process. The study yielded the result that entrepreneurs adopt a universal perspective on using learning sources such as human interactions, performance of duties, training programs and publications whereby all of them use the three above-mentioned learning sources. On the other hand, contingency approach was used in terms of learning methods. In other words, it was revealed that entrepreneurs adopt effective methods that suit different personalities and particular working environment to run business activities.