Purpose: A career in entrepreneurship is stressful, especially during the start-up phase. Training programs for these nascent entrepreneurs are designed to improve entrepreneurial competencies and, more generally to generate learnings. Although learning outcomes can reduce stress, the conditions under which this can happen are not fully understood. The study looks particularly at the effect of learning, interaction with other participants and gender.
Design/methodology/approach: A six-month three-wave longitudinal study of 120 nascent entrepreneurs has been conducted to investigate the before-and-after effects of training on stress reduction. The training is specially designed to develop competencies, share knowledge about business creation and support the development of the project, not to reduce per se stress.
Findings: The training has no direct effect on stress levels. However, results indicate that interacting with others has a positive moderating effect on training as stress reduction, just as gender has. Specifically, women reduce their stress through training while men see theirs increasing. The authors conclude that breaking isolation through training is a relevant way to reduce entrepreneurial stress for nascent entrepreneurs.
Research limitations/implications: Training programs offer different ways to deliver the learning content (online, in cohorts, in the continuous entrance, etc.). The findings of this study suggest ensuring that the participants will have opportunities to interact with others as it reduces the stress on nascent entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, the authors cannot demonstrate that this has a long-term effect as our timeframe is limited to six months.
Originality/value: This research investigates the stress-reduction effect of training, which is not a common outcome studied related to training. This highlights the importance of looking at other more distal outcomes as nascent entrepreneurs may seek other peripheral outcomes from training, like seeking a sense of belonging or wanting to break isolation.
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St-Jean, E., Tremblay, M., Barès, F. and Simionato, M. (2023), "Effect of nascent entrepreneurs' training on their stress: the role of gender and participants' interaction", New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 20-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/NEJE-10-2021-0064