Examining the cohesiveness and nestedness entrepreneurial ecosystems: Evidence from British FinTechs

Ben Spigel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It is not clear if entrepreneurial ecosystems are cohesive wholes within a region that support high-growth entrepreneurship across a variety of sectors or if ecosystems are made up of several, nested sectoral-specific sub-ecosystems. This debate speaks to larger disagreements about what entrepreneurial ecosystems are and how they work. This paper addresses this research gap by using a novel methodology based on career history data of founders and top management teams of high-growth FinTech ventures. This method is used to classify the backgrounds of 1,570 individuals in 380 British FinTech firms based on their prior job histories and employers into categories such as technology or finance. The paper finds that substantial evidence of nestedness in the ecosystems, but rather than FinTech ecosystems being specialized finance or technology clusters, more generic forms of managerial know-how remain crucial to firm innovation and growth. This suggests that even very advanced ecosystems remain nested, with few cross-over points between different communities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalSmall Business Economics
Early online date2 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • FinTech
  • opportunities
  • geography

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