Entrepreneurship and growth of small family firms. Evidence from a sample of the artistic craftsmen of Florence

Purpose of the paper: Entrepreneurship by craftsmen is essential for the growth of small artistic – artisan family firms. In these firms, entrepreneurship is influenced by the inherent characteristics of the craftsman as well as by the number of generations involved in the firm. We suggest that these variables affect both entrepreneurship and firm growth.

Methodology: We adopt OLS regression on a sample of 52 small artistic artisan family firms using a dependent variable (ROE), four independent variables (entrepreneurship, age, tenure, generations involved) and two control variables (firm size and gender).

Findings: Our results show that 1) the inherent characteristics of the entrepreneur-craftsman do not affect entrepreneurship within those firms; 2) the generations involved in the firms affect entrepreneurship and 3) entrepreneurship affects the growth of family firms.

Research limits: Some limitations regard the size of the sample and the number of independent variables used.

Practical implications: Our findings provide some suggestions in understanding why some artistic artisan family firms grow whilst other stagnate, suggesting that the entrepreneurial behavior of the craftsman plays a key role.

Originality of the paper: A consideration of the potential effects of inherent characteristics of the entrepreneur and the generations involved as antecedents of entrepreneurship for the growth of small artistic -artisan family firms is largely absent from the entrepreneurship literature.