Title

The Entrepreneurial Advantages of Cooperative and Nonprofit Firms: Evidence from the Personal Finance Industry

ORCiD

0000-0002-9342-3285

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Frontiers in Entrepreneurship Research

ISSN

2572-6803

Volume

31

Issue

15

First Page

487

Last Page

498

Publication Date

6-1-2011

Abstract

Using historical research, this paper finds that new entrants established as nonprofits and mutuals hold advantages over investor-owned counterparts in establishing the social and political legitimacy of new products in the early stages of market development. We propose that the advantages of the nonprofit form arise in emerging product markets that lack socio-political legitimacy because the potential value of the new product or service is not compromised by customer and stakeholder concerns about the profit motives of investors. Nonprofits and mutuals can hence play an important role in establishing the legitimacy of new markets. However, as these markets become established and grow, advantages shift toward investor-owned firms. Joint-stock entities hold advantages in acquiring the capital and human resources needed for fast-growing and mature product markets. Nonprofits and cooperatives, in contrast, were more limited in their ability to scale their businesses.

Comments

Originally presented at the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference. More information can be seen in Scholarly Commons by clicking here.