Date of this version


Document Type



Nascent, Entrepreneur, Satisfaction, Fit, Turnover


This paper considers how to retain the right talent to support corporate entrepreneurial interests such as internal corporate ventures by taking a new look at why individuals leave corporations and become entrepreneurs. We sought to first examine why entrepreneurs leave. The job satisfaction model tests the popular belief that individuals quit due to dissatisfaction. This is compared to the person-environment (P-E) fit model that theorizes individuals are pushed away and pulled into environments that present a better fit. In all, 715 nascent entrepreneurs were compared with 399 employees by regression and graphic analyses. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we found that for these entrepreneurs, dissatisfaction does not precede the entrepreneurial exodus from established companies. Rather, the perceptions of their new venture’s competitive certainty and financial certainty pull them into new business ventures. Implications and suggestions for the managers are discussed.

Published in

Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Citation/Other Information

25(3), 327-348.