Coaching entrepreneurs towards growth: An experimental design study of coaching effectiveness for business leaders’ psychological capabilities

Hannah Hinklelmann
Sean O’Connor
Jonathan Passmore


Coaching has a well-established history over the past two decades as a development tool and it can help entrepreneurs deal with the psychological challenges of building a venture. But there is a lack of understanding how coaching can support entrepreneurs on their journey. This study uses a coaching psychology framework to investigate the effectiveness of evidence-based (EB)coaching for entrepreneurs. The aim of this study was to understand how coaches can support cognition change, wellbeing, and accelerated performance improvement of entrepreneurs. The study used a within participant design, and data were collected using a pre and post coaching survey. The study involved n = 19 participants who were early-stage entrepreneurs. Pre and post surveys were assessed using paired sample t-tests. For cognitions, the results indicate higher levels in solution-focused thinking, hope sub-scales agency thinking and goal-orientation. No changes were found for sub-scales pathways thinking and self-efficacy. For Wellbeing, the findings show psychological wellbeing increased with sub-scales autonomy, self-acceptance, personal growth and purpose in life while relationship with others and environment mastery did not change.Negative emotions reduced while positive emotions did not change. For performance, the results show that participants progressed significantly towards attaining their coaching goals.

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