The entrepreneurial journeys of digital start-up founders

Hasnain Zaheer*, Yvonne Breyer, John Dumay, Mahesh Enjeti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We study 50 Australian entrepreneurs who have collectively founded more than 120 digital start-ups and enfold entrepreneurship and digital technologies literature in order to explain how the characteristics and affordances of digital technologies impact digital entrepreneurship. We explore the process of how founders enter venturing and create (and pause, abandon, pivot, repeat or persist with) their digital start-ups in a long-term entrepreneurial journey. We discover that in a digitised world, the long-term entrepreneurial journeys of experienced professionals as founders yield useful new insights about how digital technologies enable entrepreneurship. We propose a stage-based framework to describe this journey–locating their dimensions of entry, transition and long-term engagement with entrepreneurship, and the new venture creation process within such a journey. We present the implications of this conceptualisation of the digital technology-driven entrepreneurial journey: to government agencies looking to advance their innovation and entrepreneurship development agenda; to established companies keen to manage their digital talent better; to entrepreneurship educators who wish to explore experiential entrepreneurship training; and to accelerator managers who want to support entrepreneurs. Future research opportunities to deepen research into long term entrepreneurial journey are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121638
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • Digital entrepreneurship
  • Digital start-up
  • Digital venturing
  • Entrepreneurial journey
  • Entrepreneurial process
  • Internet start-up
  • Serial entrepreneurial career


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