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Entrepreneurial competencies: A literature review and development agenda

Purpose – Entrepreneurial competencies are seen as important to business growth and success. The purpose of this paper is therefore to undertake a literature review of research on entrepreneurial competence in order to: provide an integrated account of contributions relating to entrepreneurial competencies by different authors working in different countries and different industry sectors and at different points in time; and, develop an agenda for future research, and practice in relation to entrepreneurial competencies. Design/methodology/approach – The article starts with a review of the development of the concept of competence, with particular reference to its use in the context of management competencies. It then draws together views on the notion of entrepreneurial competence before exploring and summarising research on the link between entrepreneurial competencies and business performance and growth. A core section then compares the models of entrepreneurial competencies cited in the literature, and on this basis proposes a set of entrepreneurial competencies which can be used as the basis for further research and practice. Finally, the different perspectives adopted by researchers to the measurement of entrepreneurial competencies are reviewed. Findings – Conclusions suggest that although the concept of entrepreneurial competencies is used widely by government agencies and others in their drive for economic development and business success, the core concept of entrepreneurial competencies, its measurement and its relationship to entrepreneurial performance and business success is in need of further rigorous research and development in practice. Originality/value – This article integrates previous models of entrepreneurial competencies towards the development of an entrepreneurial competency framework.