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The identification and exploitation of opportunities are central to the process of starting a new venture. In an influential Academy of Management Review article, Scott Shane and S. Venkataraman argue that how opportunities to create future goods and services come to exist, through whom, and how they are exploited cover most of the questions that are asked by scholars of entrepreneurship.

Broadly defined, opportunities are circumstances that provide profit-earning possibilities. The most frequently exploited opportunities are based on improvements to existing business activities and involve efforts to optimize business models that are already known to work. As defined by Mark Casson, entrepreneurial opportunities form a subset of all opportunities involving the discovery of new goods, services, raw materials, and organizing methods that can be introduced and ...

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