Entrepreneurial Leadership Theory Supported in Business Accelerator Programs
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Entrepreneurs start businesses that provide many benefits to the community, such as a strong tax base, lowered unemployment, and a higher standard of living. What often occurs, though, is that many business ventures fail in their first years. There is much data to support this reality, but there is little research to explain why many entrepreneurs are unable to sustain their business through start-up and into the organizational phase. Often this failure is commonly thought of as a regular occurrence in start-up development. There are organized support mechanisms available to entrepreneurs, but failure rates continue to be high. Business incubators have supported entrepreneurial start-ups for the past fifty years, but business today has become more complex. This complexity has produced another form of support for entrepreneurs following the start-up phase; they are identified as business accelerator programs. These are three- to four-month, high-intensity, concentrated learning programs that can quickly transform an entrepreneurial start-up into a sustainable organization. This research will focus on these business accelerator programs to learn and understand the applied leadership strategies used in the program and their effect on entrepreneurs. This will support the literature on entrepreneurial leadership theory and help develop curriculum in higher education designed to support entrepreneurial education.