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Entrepreneurial Grit: Insights and Applications for New Ventures  

Marcus Wolfe

The pursuit of entrepreneurship is often characterized by high levels of struggle and adversity, and even those who ultimately succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors routinely experience failures and setbacks along the way. Therefore, it is likely that individuals who are more skilled at coping with, and conquering, such obstacles in their quest for success are more apt to enter, and be successful at, entrepreneurial careers. While several factors contribute to an individual’s ability to persevere through adversity and to continue to work to accomplish long-term goals, individual grit has garnered an increasing level of attention as a key element in such persistence, particularly in entrepreneurial contexts. Grit, conceptualized as an individual’s passion and perseverance in the pursuit of accomplishing long-term goals, can play several roles in the entrepreneurial process. While grit is a potential outcome of entrepreneurial passion, it also has important associations with several key entrepreneurial outcomes. For instance, given that entrepreneurship is linked with risk-taking, grit is an asset for individuals who chase entrepreneurial opportunities. Higher levels of risk incur a greater likelihood of failure, and the ability to persist with entrepreneurial initiatives in the face of failures is potentially bolstered by high levels of grit. Furthermore, persistence against adversity can often translate into improved venture performance as a result of entrepreneurs’ continued, focused efforts at developing and improving their new venture. Furthermore, grit may play an even more important role for individuals who face heightened levels of adversity during their entrepreneurial careers. Women and younger individuals often experience unique challenges that their counterparts who are men or older do not have to face. Therefore, having high levels of grit may be an advantage in women and youth. While the relationship between grit and entrepreneurship has gained considerable momentum as a topic of scholarly interest, there are important avenues available for future research to further develop understanding of the topic.