The influence of culture on entrepreneurship: Differences between the perceptions of Portuguese and Spanish cultures

Patricia Akemi Sakaguti Motoki, Silveli Cristo-Andrade, Fabio Yoshio Suguri Motoki, Emerson Wagner Mainardes

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We verify if national culture influences the perception of opportunities and risk intolerance of entrepreneurs from Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. Although Portugal and Spain are in the Iberian Peninsula, both developed distinct cultures, transmitted to their respective colonies along with their languages. Using language as a proxy for cultural heritage, we analyze Portugal and Spain and their former colonies using data from 2011 to 2015 provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (2018). The first model indicates that individuals from Portuguese culture who have previous knowledge and skills have an increased chance of perceiving opportunities when compared to Spanish culture individuals. This same model also shows that individuals of Portuguese culture who have some degree of risk intolerance are also more likely to perceive opportunities. Results from the second model indicate a direct effect of the national culture, suggesting that individuals of Portuguese culture are more prone to be risk intolerant than those of Spanish culture. However, an indirect effect signals that in Portuguese culture countries, previous knowledge and skills have an even greater effect of reducing risk intolerance. These findings may impact the way of managing entrepreneurship in countries possessing these Iberian cultures. In addition, they contribute to the development of public policies more targeted to the entrepreneurial development of a nation and to the transposition of these policies between countries with a common cultural context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3002–3028
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of the Knowledge Economy
Issue number4
Early online date11 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • National culture
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Opportunity perception
  • Risk intolerance
  • Portuguese culture
  • Spanish culture
  • L26
  • M16
  • F23

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