Religion strongly influences entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship religion, too

Lateral interior facade of the church lit by natural light

Religion is important in societies all over the world. It guides human behavior and also influences entrepreneurship. However, this does not receive much attention in thinking about entrepreneurship. With a new special issue, the journal Small Business Economics puts the relationship between religion and entrepreneurship on the map.

One of the studies in the magazine shows how Protestantism leads to more entrepreneurship. That link can be explained by Protestant culture and values. But there are other explanations: another study shows that faith leads entrepreneurs to view entrepreneurial opportunities more optimistically. A third study shows that investors with the same beliefs as entrepreneurs are more positive about the opportunity to invest. However, other investors are sometimes put off if a company believes in its mission. There is also a study which focuses on how entrepreneurship influences religion. By looking at the pioneering movement within the Church of England, it becomes clear that the church is clearly changing and becoming more enterprising, but that this is not an easy process.

The compilers of the special issue, including Dutch researchers Dr. Niels Rietveld and Dr. Brigitte Hoogendoorn (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Prof. Elco van Burg (VU Amsterdam), bring everything together in an introductory article. They describe that there are four ways in which religion and entrepreneurship are related, namely through faith (religious knowledge), connection (devotion), behaviour (norms and values) and belonging (social capital).

Associate professor
Associate professor
More information Elco van Burg (06-18579030 /

Dr. Niels Rietveld (06-50513452 /

Dr. Brigitte Hoogendoorn (06-34846117 /

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