This project aims to understand:
- How are entrepreneurial identities (EI) and entrepreneurial opportunities (EO) relationally constructed within early-stage start-up teams that are formed to address social and commercial challenges? and;
- What is the nature of the interplay between the two constructs of EO and EI? within challenge-orientated start-up teams
This thesis, through its organisational ethnography of six nascent start-up teams develops a novel conceptual framework of new venture creation (NVC), understanding this as a collective, relational and contested process through which the entrepreneurial opportunity and entrepreneurial identity co-emerge recursively and iteratively as the teams transition from aspired ideas and ideals to actualized products and realised entrepreneurial identities as a start-up company. The novel conceptual framework has practical implications for nascent founders and those supporting entrepreneurial innovation in response to societal challenges through the explication of a number of sense-making strategies that can be employed by nascent start-up teams when legitimising their opportunity and identity as a start-up team to themselves and others when seeking resources and support to progress their idea into a reality.