Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development

Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development

Edited by David Smallbone, Markku Virtanen and Arnis Sauka

Entrepreneurship and innovation are arguably the main drivers of economic development today. This book explores the two in depth, at both the national and regional levels, using a variety of methodologies. The expert contributors discuss the subject from a policy perspective, with case studies from a host of countries including new member states of the EU as well as established EU member states. Split into three parts, the book focuses on: innovation, entrepreneurial activity and regional development, and entrepreneurship and SME policy.

Chapter 1: Introduction

David Smallbone, Markku Virtanen and Arnis Sauka

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, geography, economic geography, urban and regional studies, regional economics


With its focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, this volume is concerned with the two main drivers of economic development, whether this be considered at a national or a regional level. At the same time, both entrepreneurship and innovation are open to different interpretations based on differences in definition. In each case we propose a broad definition which is generally inclusive whilst recognising circumstances where a narrower definition may be justified. Entrepreneurship has been defined as: the manifest ability and willingness of individuals, on their own, in teams, within and outside existing organizations to perceive and create new economic opportunities (new products, new production methods, new organizational schemes and new product-market combinations), and to introduce their ideas in the market, in the face of uncertainty and other obstacles, by making decisions on location, form and the use of resources and institutions. (Wennekers and Thurik, 1999) Clearly, this is a relatively narrow definition that refers to what would commonly be described as radical innovation, whereas a narrower definition describes what is sometimes called ‘incremental innovation’.