The first part of this dissertation focuses on the analysis of university spin-offs regarding critical success factors that influence the activity of entrepreneurs and their performance. It is shown that high-expectation entrepreneurial activity has a significantly positive association with opportunity entrepreneurship as well as post-secondary education. High-expectation entrepreneurial activity is of particular interest as it generates the majority of new jobs created by entrepreneurial ventures. The underlying empirical analysis is based on the entrepreneurial activity at the University of Magdeburg from 1990-2005. The second part of this dissertation applies a prescriptive research perspective. The purpose is to develop decision aids that enhance the decision making of entrepreneurs. Improved decision making is demonstrated on the entrepreneur's occupational choice problem under uncertainty by applying influence diagram models. The second application uses a common financial planning spreadsheet model to develop an appropriate influence diagram which allows modeling of underlying financial positions. Further decision analysis approximates the value of possible information gathering on critical financial positions and reveals how this influences the optimal strategy before the actual performance. The minimum level of quality of imperfect information is also identified. A pro forma financial statement can still be extracted from the influence diagram model, but now represents the logical outcome and optimal strategy of the entrepreneur's decision making process.