Thompson, John L. (2007) The entrepreneur enabler: identifying and supporting those with potential. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 14 (3). pp. 528-544. ISSN 1462-6004

Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide greater and deeper insight into the entrepreneur-enabling “big picture”, explore issues in matching suitable enablers with would-be entrepreneurs, and consider policy implications in the light of government priorities.
Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon case research with business incubator clients. A number of relevant enabling roles are analysed.
Findings – There is a clear need to distinguish between when the enabler is focusing on the business or the business idea and when he or she is focusing on the development of the entrepreneur. At the same time it is important to assess whether a directive or non-directive style is more appropriate.
Research limitations/implications – This is fundamentally a conceptual viewpoint paper and it contains both anecdotal evidence and opinion.
Practical implications – The paper offers a commentary on, and a framework for, matching enablers and would-be entrepreneurs more effectively and discusses the relevance of the arguments for current policy priorities.
Originality/value – Although some of the work has been published before (mainly in books) this paper contains substantial original and new work.

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