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Business & Finance

Positive Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is exciting, rewarding but also stressful. Business owners face many challenges. One pathway to performance and wellbeing for entrepreneurs could lie in the way they use their talents and strengths at work. Moreover, they also try to use their full potential in order to achieve success. However, what is often forgotten is that entrepreneurs, like other people, desire to be happy. They want happiness for themselves and for their families and doing business is their unique way to achieve that.

The Positive Entrepreneurship (PosEnt) project explores how entrepreneurs use their talents and strengths in doing business and how this relates to their performance, wellbeing and flourishing in the long run. Understanding one’s own unique potential (i.e. talents and strengths) helps to achieve excellence in many life domains. Thus, the project also explores the consequences for the well-being of the entrepreneur’s family.

The project adopts a broad perspective on wellbeing considering happiness and satisfaction as well as eudaimonic well-being – i.e. a sense of fulfilment, authenticity and purpose.

Funding

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 793117.

Aims

The project is organized around the following research questions:

  1. What kind of signature strengths do entrepreneurs possess? How do they use them in their work and with what consequences for their performance and well-being?
  2. Do entrepreneurs differ in their use of signature strengths depending on their motivation to start a business? Does it matter if they started the business because they had a clear vision of how to exploit an opportunity or they were ‘forced’ to run a business in face of the lack of better options? Does it matter if they run commercial or social ventures?
  3. Can all entrepreneurs achieve well-being? How and when may so-called opportunity versus necessity entrepreneurs achieve well-being through their work?
  4. What is the effect of entrepreneurs’ strengths’ use and well-being on their life partners’ well-being?

Methods

The project uses multiple methods from analysing large scale secondary data, to qualitative interviews, and a diary study of entrepreneurs and their life partners.

Impact

9-15 October 2021 – presentations at Silesian Festival of Science, “Virtual work in time of the pandemic”, “Everyone has a superpower. Learn to use yours and be happy”

4 June 2021 – workshop for entrepreneurs in Denmark “Entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic”

9 April 2021 – workshop for entrepreneurs in the UK “Feedback Workshop Entrepreneurship, Covid

19 and Well being”

6 April 2021 – workshop for entrepreneurs in the UK “Feedback Workshop Entrepreneurship, Covid

19 and Well being”

6 April 2021 – workshop for entrepreneurs in Canada “Feedback Workshop Entrepreneurship, Covid

19 and Well being”

30 March 2021 – workshop for entrepreneurs in Canada “Feedback Workshop Entrepreneurship, Covid

19 and Well being”

31 March 2021 – presentation of the implications of Positive Entrepreneurship for Recovery and Resilience Facility at the Presidential Council for Entrepreneurship, Poland. The recommendations from Positive Entrepreneurship have been applied for the statement of the Presidential Council for Entrepreneurship on National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

19 March 2021 – special session at Presidential Council for Entrepreneurship, Poland

23 February 2021 – presentation at 89 London event ‘The effects and consequences of Covid-19 on SMEs’

26 January 2021 – presentation at Westmister Business Forum policy conference ‘Priorities for supporting new businesses to start and scale up in the UK’

12 January 2021 – presentation at Public Policy Exchange event ‘Tackling Youth Unemployment, Covid & Beyond: Closing the Skills Gaps, Promoting Entrepreneurship and Developing Viable Solutions

11 December 2020 – workshop for the group of students on Signature Strengths and Happiness

17 November 2020 – presentation at SME Assembly – Building a sustainable and resilient future together

9 November 2020 – event during the ESRC Festival of Social Science “Superpowers and flourishing: Use your talents to be happy”

29 October 2020 – presentation at Kauffman Entrepreneurship Issue Forum, Kauffman Foundation, USA

29 October 2020 – presentation at IfM Bonn (German Institute for SMEs) International Roundtable on SMEs The Impact of COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities for SMEs, Society and Policy in Europe’ ;Ways out of the Corona-19 crisis’

27 October 2020 – workshop for the group of students on Signature Strengths and Happiness

15 May 2020 – Webinar and online workshop for entrepreneurs “Dealing with stress and resilience of entrepreneurs”

11 May 2020 – Webinar with Foundational Health and General Assembly “How to deal with stress, stay resilient and re-gain control”

11 May 2020 – Webinar and online workshop “Positive Entrepreneurship: Well-being and psychological resources”

6 May 2020 – Webinar for entrepreneurs organized by King's College London “How to deal with stress, stay resilient and re-gain control”

1 April 2020 – presentation of the project at virtual meeting of BNI (Business Network International)

6 February 2020 – presentation of the project for Entrepreneurial Women Club

18 December 2019 – workshop for high-school students on signature strengths and happiness

17 December 2019 – presentation of the project for entrepreneurs at MedTech – medical technology cluster

28 November 2019 – presentation of the project for group of young entrepreneurs of Chamber of Commerce in Katowice

26 November 2019 – presentation of the project for entrepreneurs at MedTech – medical technology cluster

22 November 2019 – presentation of the project for entrepreneurs at BusinessLink Katowice

12 November 2019 – presentation of the project for Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers “Talent”

6 November 2019 – workshop for WeWork at Aldwych House “Flourishing in running a business”

2 July 2019Navigating the stresses of being an entrepreneur: A happiness workshop for entrepreneurs at King’s College London

29 May 2019 – Workshop on signature strengths and happiness for university students

Project status: Completed

Principal investigators

Ute Stephan

Ute Stephan

Professor of Entrepreneurship

PrzemyslawZbierowski

Przemysław Zbierowski

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow in Entrepreneurship

Keywords

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Well-being
  • Eudaimonia
  • Virtues
  • Character
  • Strengths