The irrational benefits of small business ownership: constructing economic well-being in business-owning households

Sara Carter, Gry Alsos, Elisabet Ljunggren

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Although the small business research domain has developed extensively over the past thirty years, there are still many gaps in our knowledge. One of the poorly understood areas is the benefits or rewards of small business ownership for the individual business owner, their families and households. The benefits of starting a business are popularly assumed to be primarily financial; however, research shows that start-up motivations are much broader: autonomy, flexibility, freedom and control are more commonly cited reasons than financial rewards for starting a business. Hence, the benefits of small business ownership include both financial rewards, such as profit, as well as non-financial rewards, for example a greater sense of autonomy and satisfaction derived from being one’s own boss.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSmall Business in a Global Economy
Subtitle of host publicationCreating and Managing Successful Organizations
EditorsScott L. Newbert
Place of PublicationSanta Barbara, CA
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2015


  • family business
  • business benefits
  • family business ownership
  • small business research

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