Studying “user entrepreneurs” – those who create products or services for themselves before commercializing them – have founded more than 46 percent of innovative startups that have lasted five years or more. Because user entrepreneurs build their business out of a basic need, they are better able to see unmet market need or potential areas of demand that someone else might not perceive. The study found significant differences between user entrepreneurs and others along dimensions that matter to economic growth and innovation, including access to outside equity capital and the intensive use of intellectual property protection. User entrepreneurs make a substantial contribution to innovation and economic growth.
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