A manifesto for researching entrepreneurial ecosystems

Ben Spigel, Fumi Kitagawa, Colin Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Entrepreneurial ecosystems are the focus of government economic policies around the world for their potential to generate entrepreneur-led economic development. The paper identifies key research questions and challenges to building effective public policy: (i) the limitations of existing data sources, (ii) the need to balance findings from quantitative and qualitative studies, (iii) the danger that entrepreneurial ecosystems will be just a policy fad, (iv) the narrow focus of policy and research on high tech firms and scale-ups, and (v) the need to balance research approaches between simplified models and a complex systems approach. There is a need for a better under- standing of the diversity of policy contexts (level of government, country context) and model of ecosystem governance. A more granulated understanding of ecosystem thinking is required, with greater consideration of the diversity of actors and the institutional context, with more attention given to the heterogeneous nature of places and complex interactions between actors and net- works. Looking to the future, the potential of new data sources and methodologies is identified. Future research should give greater consideration to the institutional context to understand how policy can better support entrepreneurial activity and the extent to which specific policies can be replicated elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-495
Number of pages14
JournalLocal Economy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • measurement
  • public policy
  • the UK
  • Japan


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