Publication: Small Business Economics
This paper investigates the impact of entrepreneurs’ human capital on their growth aspirations and the moderating role of regional entrepreneurial culture in this relationship. Based on human capital theory, we argue that growth aspirations will be higher for individuals with higher educational attainment and lower for those with prior entrepreneurial experience. Drawing on an institutional perspective, we also suggest that regional social acceptance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial role models will positively moderate these effects. Using data that combines individual and province level information in Spain over the period 2008–2014, we find support for the differential effect of formal education and entrepreneurial experience. The results also show that both social approval of entrepreneurship and role models tend to increase the growth aspirations of experienced entrepreneurs, whereas aspirations of the more educated ones are only affected by the presence of role models. Implications from the findings are discussed.