Category Archives: Research

Call For Papers

Special Issue of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Guest Editors:

Allan O’Connor, Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre, The University of Adelaide, (

Erik Stam, Chair of Strategy, Organization and Entrepreneurship, Utrecht University School of Economics (U.S.E.) & Utrecht Center for Entrepreneurship (

Zoltan J. Acs, Department of Management, London School of Economics and Political Science (

David B. Audretsch, Indiana University, (


Many governments around the world seem to have openly accepted the functional economic theory of entrepreneurship as a pathway toward economic development (Hannon 2006; Minniti and Lévesque 2008, p. 605). This response by governments is consistent with the argument that a shift in the economic base toward knowledge requires a context and environment supportive of entrepreneurship (Audretsch & Thurik, 2004). However, creating a context and a supportive environment tends to limit the responsibility of government (Stam 2014) and instead opens up a shared responsibility of many who nurture, encourage, support, fund, advise, facilitate and work for, or, with entrepreneurs and their ventures. In other words, the economic outcomes of entrepreneurship sought by governments and the like, are a product of not only policy inputs but also socially embedded factors that underpin the creation, growth and flourishing of new firms and organizations that, if functioning well, can ultimately deliver desirable social and economic outcomes.

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Review on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Regional Policy: A Sympathetic Critique
European Planning Studies

Full Paper Pdf

Erik Stam

ABSTRACT Regional policies for entrepreneurship are currently going through a transition from increasing the quantity of entrepreneurship to increasing the quality of entrepreneurship. The next step will be the transition from entrepreneurship policy towards policy for an entrepreneurial economy. The entrepreneurial ecosystem approach has been heralded as a new framework accommodating these transitions. This approach starts with the entrepreneurial actor, but emphasizes the context of productive entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not only the output of the system, entrepreneurs are important players themselves in creating the ecosystem and keeping it healthy. This research briefing reviews the entrepreneurial ecosystem literature and its shortcomings, and provides a novel synthesis. The entrepreneurial ecosystem approach speaks directly to practitioners, but its causal depth and evidence base is rather limited. This article provides a novel synthesis including a causal scheme of how the framework and systemic conditions of the ecosystem lead to particular entrepreneurial activities as output of the ecosystem and new value creation as outcome of the ecosystem. In addition it provides a framework for analysing the interactions between the elements within the ecosystem. This offers a much more rigorous and relevant starting point for subsequent studies into entrepreneurial ecosystems and the regional policy implications of these.