In this paper, the 'recession push' and the 'prosperity pull' hypotheses are used to analyse the effect of growing non-farm wage employment on entrepreneurship in a rural developing context. Data are collected in a rural household survey in 110 communes in central Vietnam which includes subjective owner assessments of reasons for starting non-farm businesses. This way it is possible to separately test the two hypotheses by distinguishing opportunity and necessity entrepreneurs. We use clustered probit regression analyses and control for possible endogeneity in order to predict participation in entrepreneurship. The results show that better access to non-farm wage employment increases the likelihood of becoming an opportunity entrepreneur but has no effect on necessity entrepreneurship. This, therefore, supports the 'prosperity pull' hypothesis but not the 'recession push' hypothesis. The growing non-farm economy is likely to accelerate the emergence of opportunity entrepreneurship in rural areas. However, necessity entrepreneurs are suffering from a lack of individual and household assets which pushes them into entrepreneurship regardless of non-farm job opportunities in the surrounding area.