Table of Contents

Entrepreneurship, Social Capital and Governance

Entrepreneurship, Social Capital and Governance

Directions for the Sustainable Development and Competitiveness of Regions

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough

This book highlights the role of entrepreneurship, social capital and governance for regional economic development. In recent decades, many researchers have claimed that entrepreneurship is the most critical factor in sustaining regional economic growth. However, most entrepreneurship research is undertaken without considering the fundamental importance of the regional context. Other research has emphasized the role of social capital but there are substantial problems in empirically relating measures of social capital to regional economic development.

Chapter 1: Entrepreneurship, social capital, governance and regional economic development: an introduction

Charlie Karlsson

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, economics and finance, regional economics, urban and regional studies, regional economics


The purpose of this book is to highlight the role of entrepreneurship, social capital and governance for regional economic development. Regional economic development is a multidimensional phenomenon, which has stimulated various authors to come up with their own definitions. In this introductory chapter we use the definition suggested by Stimson et al. (2006, 6): ‘Regional economic development is the application of economic processes and resources available to a region that results in the sustainable development of, and desired outcomes for, a region and that meet the values and expectations of business, of residents and of visitors.’ As all the other definitions of regional economic development in the literature, this definition is not perfect but it assists in the search for the role of entrepreneurship, social capital and governance as factors that underlie and drive the processes that support the sustainable development and competitiveness of regions. The strong relationship between regional economic development and entrepreneurship, social capital and governance, respectively, is clearly illustrated by Google Scholar, which on 20 September 2011, generated between 10 000 and 15 000 hits for each of the three combinations of these concepts.