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Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures by Scott A. Shane

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Introduction

We live in an entrepreneurial society in an entrepreneurial age. Surveys consistently rank the United States as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Moreover, the rate of new firm creation in the United States has grown dramatically since the mid-1970s. The number of organizations created each year has reached levels that have not been seen since records have been kept (the past 150 years). As a result of this entrepreneurial orientation, approximately 4 percent of the U.S. labor force is involved in starting a new company every year—more than the number of people getting married or having children each year![1]—bringing the total of business owners to about 13 percent of the nonagricultural labor force.[2]

In addition, ...

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