It has been suggested, that cognitive constructs that have emerged in recent literature provide a more "promising approach" to entrepreneurship research (De Noble et al., 1999). The purpose of this study was to examine the role of entrepreneurial cognition in the context of opportunity recognition and new venture creation. Since ‘high self-efficacy appears to be one characteristic strongly linked to entrepreneurial pursuits'' (Markman et al. 2002, p. 162), this study tested Boyd and Vozikis (1994) theory, which relates entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) to entrepreneurial intentions and actions, in an Irish context. A national web/postal survey of Irish business executives (n = 1,136) employed pre-tested scales for measuring self-efficacy: the general self- efficacy scale (GSE) (Schwarzer and Jerusalem 1993); and the entrepreneurial self-efficacy (ESE) (De Noble et al. 1999). The evidence suggests that self- efficacy has an important influence on entrepreneurial intentions and actions.