Entrepreneurs learning from business failures: an emerging market perspective

Joseph Amankwah-Amoah, Zaheer Khan* (Corresponding Author), Simeon Emezana Ifere, Richard B. Nyuur, Huda Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article extends prior scholarly works on entrepreneurial failure, entrepreneurial resilience, and learning from failure by examining how the effects of prior experiences of entrepreneurial business failure (EBF) manifest in the entrepreneurial process of subsequent venture formation. We elucidate the pre-founding and post-founding effects of prior entrepreneurial business failure via insights drawn from 25 serial entrepreneurs in Nigeria. The findings demonstrate that entrepreneurs were often motivated to start another venture as a result of the economic hardship and social stigmatization that occurs after business closure. We identified a three-stage fine grained process perspective of successive entrepreneurial engagement (e.g., pre-founding, formation and development, and post-founding conditions and effects on subsequent entrepreneurial ventures. These stages shed light on entrepreneurial fragility, entrepreneurial resiliency, and development of anti-fragility capabilities that are conducive to subsequent venture formation and survival. We shed light on how individual-level factors shape how prior failure experiences can shift from liability immediately after business collapse and at pre-founding to become an asset during and after new-venture formation. Such learning from past failure is vital in adapting to dynamic environmental changes, especially those observed in emerging-market settings. Taken together, we demonstrate how entrepreneurs bounce back from errors, failures, and setbacks
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Early online date14 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Nov 2021


  • learning from failure
  • entrepreneurial failure
  • resilience
  • entrepreneurship
  • start-ups
  • stigma
  • emerging markets
  • Africa


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