Happy Entrepreneurs? Everywhere? A Meta-Analysis of Entrepreneurship and Wellbeing

Ute Stephan*, Andreas Rauch, Isabella Hatak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Entrepreneurship can be fulfilling and enhance wellbeing, but also highly stressful and diminish wellbeing. This meta-analytical review synthesizes 319 effect sizes from 94 studies and 82 countries to establish whether individuals derive greater wellbeing from working for themselves or for someone else. The answer is partly positive in favor of entrepreneurship but depends on the components of wellbeing under investigation (positive wellbeing or negative wellbeing/mental illbeing) and the institutional context (especially the rule of law). We contribute by developing the component view of wellbeing as an organizing framework and by advancing an institutional perspective to guide research on entrepreneurs’ wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Early online date27 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).


  • entrepreneurship
  • eudaimonic wellbeing
  • life satisfaction
  • mental health
  • meta-analysis
  • negative affect
  • positive affect
  • review
  • wellbeing
  • work satisfaction


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