Motivation, perceived success factors and problems of entrepreneurs: evidence from a developing country in Asia
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Small enterprises are increasingly playing a significant role in Sri Lankan economy. But, only a few studies have been conducted on motivations of individuals who are entering into entrepreneurial career, their perceived success factors and problems of Sri Lankan entrepreneurs. This study is based on the survey conducted with 76 entrepreneurs in Colombo district, Sri Lanka, to understand their motivations for entrepreneurial career; perceived success factors, and problems. The sample was selected from a list of entrepreneurs who were following the Certificate Course on Entrepreneurship at Open University of Sri Lanka. Results show that primary reasons for starting a business are to increase income, to obtain personal freedom, and to ensure job security. Factor analysis results revealed that owners of small and medium-sized enterprises are driven more by income related rewards than intrinsic rewards. Important business success variables include entrepreneur related characteristics, product and finance issues, social connections and human capital. Other critical success factors include management skills and government connections. Lack of reliable employees is the most serious problem faced by small entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. In addition to that, weak economy, inability to obtain long-term finance, and too much competition, were also identified as important problems.