Entrepreneurship is regarded as an important factor for innovation and economic growth. However, Japan has been characterized by the lowest level of entrepreneurship activity among the OECD countries for more than 20 years. Since the 1990s, the government tried to stimulate business start-ups, especially in high-tech industries, without obvious success. There are only few empirical studies on entrepreneurship in Japan. However, such studies would be necessary to support and evaluate public policy to promote entrepreneurship. This lecture presents the results of a 4-year panel survey of Japanese entrepreneurs in manufacturing and software sectors, who started their businesses in 2007 and 2008. Based on this survey data, we show who research-oriented founders are and how they perform. Moreover, we also investigate the determinants of R&D investment, innovation outcomes, and employment growth of these start-ups.
Hiroyuki Okamuro is Professor at the Graduate School of Economics, Hitotsubashi University and a visiting research fellow at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP). He received his M.A. from Hitotsubashi University and his Ph.D. in Economics (Dr. rer. pol.) from the University of Bonn. His major research interests are entrepreneurship and innovation. He has published numerous papers in international journals on these topics. Currently he is vice-president of the Japan Academy of Small Business Studies (JASBS) and associate editor of the Journal of Small Business Management.