Developing and Governing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Scholars and policymakers are increasingly employing the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems to better understand the continued regional concentration of high growth ventures. Ecosystems represent the economic, social, and policy environment surrounding the entrepreneurship process. Public and privately run entrepreneurship support programs form a critical part of entrepreneurial ecosystems by providing training and resources to entrepreneurs and new ventures they could not otherwise access. However, the role of support programs within ecosystems is poorly understood with little conceptual or empirical discussions about how support programs contribute to the development of successful entrepreneurial ecosystems. To address this gap this paper employs the concept of institutional thickness to identify the optimum structure of support programs within a region. Institutional thickness refers to elements of a region’s political and economic structure that territorialize regional competitive advantage. The role of institutional thickness is explored through an investigation of entrepreneurship support programs aimed at technology entrepreneurs in Edinburgh, UK. 43 such programs are identified and a preliminary analysis was conducted regarding the services and resources they offer, the stage of the entrepreneurship at which they are aimed, and their relationship with other programs to deliver their support. While these programs display many aspects of institutional thickness there is a tension between the national focus of many programs funded by Scottish government sources and the need for a regionally specific focus to take advantage of regional path dependent capabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2015
Event8th Annual International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Regional Development - Sheffield, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jun 201520 Jun 2015


Conference8th Annual International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Regional Development
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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