Purpose – Practice demonstrates and research validates that entrepreneurship is moving from the individual to the organization and from the private sector to the social and not-for-profit sectors. The present study endeavors to complement the emerging public entrepreneurship literature by aiming to identify which of those factors that stimulate corporate entrepreneurship in the public sector are preferred by entrepreneurial civil servants. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire was completed by a random sample (n=247) of public servants across 15 Greek prefectures. Results are based on Bayesian factor analysis, conjoint analysis and cluster analysis. Findings – Results provide preliminary evidence about entrepreneurial civil servants' preferences and make available a well-documented framework for addressing corporate entrepreneurship in the public sector. Research limitations/implications – The reported research relied on self-reporting. In addition, because the sample consisted entirely of public servants across Greek prefectures, findings may not be applicable to other public sector contexts (such as hospitals) and other countries. Data are cross-sectional and alternative relationships may exist. Future research should be multinational and longitudinal to test the assumptions of the present study. Practical implications – The results of the study are useful both to academics and policy makers interested in formulating a strategy that fosters corporate entrepreneurship in the public sector. Originality/value – During the last 15 years, considerable effort has been devoted to developing more effective, more efficient, and more flexible public organizations. Using qualitative methods, the results of the present exploratory research identify which factors that foster corporate entrepreneurship in the public sector are preferred by entrepreneurial public servants.