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Towards a process theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems

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    Rights statement: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Spigel B, Harrison R. Toward a process theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. 2017;1–18., which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/sej.1268. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."

    Accepted author manuscript, 0.99 MB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151–168
JournalStrategic Entrepreneurship Journal
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


Entrepreneurial ecosystems have recently emerged as a popular concept within entrepreneurship policy and practitioner communities. Specifically, they are seen as a regional economic development strategy that is based around creating supportive environments that foster innovative startups. However, existing research on entrepreneurial ecosystems has been largely typological and atheoretical and has not yet explored how they influence the entrepreneurship process. This paper critically examines the relationships between ecosystems and other existing literatures such as clusters and regional innovation systems. Drawing on this background, the paper suggests that a process-based view of ecosystems provides a better framework to understand their role in supporting new venture creation. This framework is used to explain the evolution and transformation of entrepreneurial ecosystems and to create a typology of different ecosystem structures.

    Research areas

  • clusters, culture, entrepreneurial ecosystem, networks, regional innovation systems, regions

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