University of Oulu

Entrepreneurial risk and resilience

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Author: Maalismaa, Essi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Economics, Economics
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
Pages: 51
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : E. Maalismaa, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-14
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Simonen, Jaakko
Reviewer: Mourelatos, Evangelos
Simonen, Jaakko


Entrepreneurship is popular despite its great risks. The tremendous number of entrepreneurs makes it important for multiple reasons, for example, the employment effect. For these reasons, the study of entrepreneurship is also important and popular. This thesis studies the risks of entrepreneurship and the resilience of entrepreneurs. Because the risks cannot be avoided in entrepreneurship, it is important to study the risk attitudes of entrepreneurs and the effect risk attitudes have on their success. Risks also make resilience important as it is vital for the entrepreneur to be able to recover quickly from any adverse situations and setbacks that the risks might result.

This thesis studies whether entrepreneurs truly are risk seeking as it is often stated and presumed because of the riskiness and low probabilities of success. Because risk attitude measurement is extremely difficult and there is no proper measurement tool, it cannot be concluded that all entrepreneurs are risk seeking or that all risk averse individuals are employed. The thesis suggests that neutral risk attitude is most beneficial for an entrepreneur because it allows the entrepreneur to focus on the things that are worthwhile.

This thesis also examines the true resilience of entrepreneurs and the importance of resilience for the success of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are often considered resilient because the nature of entrepreneurship requires ability to survive challenging circumstances and learn from them to be better prepared in the future. Based on the results, it can be concluded that there is no evidence of all entrepreneurs being highly resilient. Resilience is difficult to measure which makes the comparison difficult. Also, resilience does not guarantee success. It increases the probability of becoming an entrepreneur and assists in survival during difficult times.

The empirical section of this thesis includes an interview. The results of the interview not only largely support the findings of earlier studies but also presents important findings for the general study of entrepreneurship. Together the literature review and the empirical section suggest that because risk attitudes and resilience are extremely difficult to measure, the future research should not be focused solely on the measurement but rather on how to support and improve entrepreneurs’ risk management and resilience.

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Copyright information: © Essi Maalismaa, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.