Entrepreneurship and well-being: Past, present, and future

Johan Wiklund, Boris Nikolaev, Nadav Shir, Maw Der Foo, Steve Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Entrepreneurship research typically emphasizes firm-level outcomes such as growth and performance. However, people pursue entrepreneurship for deeply personal, idiosyncratic reasons. Therefore, as in other self-organized human pursuits, how entrepreneurship relates to fulfillment and well-being is of utmost importance. In this paper, we provide an overview of the well-being concept, related research, and its connection to entrepreneurship. We define entrepreneurial well-being as the experience of satisfaction, positive affect, infrequent negative affect, and psychological functioning in relation to developing, starting, growing, and running an entrepreneurial venture. We explain this definition of entrepreneurial well-being and review significant developments in our field and the broader field of well-being. Highlights of social, technological and institutional trends illustrate key areas for future research that can enhance our understanding of these phenomena. The eight papers in this special issue focus on entrepreneurial well-being each offering a specific perspective on how scholars can theorize and study the antecedents and consequences of entrepreneurship related to well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Entrepreneurial well-being
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Eudaimonic well-being
  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Life satisfaction
  • Positive and negative affect
  • Self-employment
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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