Entry and exit are important phenomena. This paper reviews the evidence on the size of this process and its contribution to productivity and innovation. It then develops a detailed portrait of the characteristics of new firms that survive and those that fail. In doing so, it examines the type of competencies that are developed in both groups of firms. It asks which competencies are developed by new firms. In particular, it focuses on the innovative capabilities of new firms. It shows that small firms in general and entrants in particular are heterogeneous when it comes to their innovative activity. The types of innovative activity in which they are engaged vary widely. Some focus on research and development (R&D) and new products. Others focus on new technologies. Still others stress the development of human capital. In addition, this paper examines the competitive environment that new firms face and the connection between growth and innovation. It also examines the complementary skills that are employed by innovators. Finally, the paper focuses on the causes of failure in the firm population. It extends earlier work that finds that failing firms differ from surviving firms in terms of basic competencies-management, financial management and marketing capabilities.
Business performance and ownership, Entry, exit, mergers and growth, Small and medium-sized businesses
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