Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Jill Murray


Fifty percent of small businesses launched survive 5 years or more and about 33.3 percent continue operating for 10 years or longer. This transcendental phenomenological study included Cantillion's theory of entrepreneurship to explore strategies used by successful second-time business owners after a failed first launch. Face-to-face interviews took place with 12 successful second-time business owners in Fairfax County, Virginia, whose first business had failed. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using a modified Van Kaam method to identify strategies small business owners used to succeed beyond 5 years after a failed first business venture. Data analysis revealed 4 themes: (a) owners assimilated and accommodated lessons from the previous failure, (b) owners did not view obstacles as barriers, (c) owners acquired the ability to have successful plans, and (d) owners valued people who make businesses successful. Implications for social change include presenting the strategies in focus groups to train prospective entrepreneurs in local communities. The prospective entrepreneurs might learn new insights and strategies used by successful second-time business owners after a failed first launch that were critical to the success of their business. The findings of the study might offer applicable ideas, strategies, and actions that may promote the worth, dignity, well-being, and development of individuals, communities, organizations, institutions, and cultures.

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