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Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik
Chapter 8: A Rough Guide to Entrepreneurship Policy
Anders N. Hoﬀmann1 Introduction During the 1990s, ‘entrepreneurship’ was a buzzword both in the media and in the political debate. Newspapers were full of success stories about self-made billionaires. Politicians supported their endeavours and attempted to associate themselves with successful entrepreneurs. Old fashion subsidies to ineﬀective small ﬁrms were consequently relabelled as entrepreneurship policy and the majority of the old rhetoric related to the policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was adopted by the ‘new’ entrepreneurship policy makers. New ﬁrms are mostly small; therefore SME policies should beneﬁt entrepreneurs. The logic behind this argument is as clear as the following statement: ‘People cannot ﬂy. Rocks cannot ﬂy, so people are rocks.’ Although some have deﬁned entrepreneurship policy as ‘ensuring small ﬁrms can compete in the marketplace and that they are not prejudiced because of their small size, relative to large ﬁrms’ (Lundström and Stevenson, 2005, p. 37), it is actually about creating a dynamic economy, which ensures that people can start new ventures and subsequently develop these ventures to become high-growth ﬁrms (Hart et al., 2003). As formulated by the Danish government, entrepreneurship policy should support and increase a country’s ability to compete on knowledge, new ideas, and the ability to adapt and ﬁnd new solutions to problems (Danish Government Platform, 2005). The objective of this chapter is to provide both policy makers and scholars with a quick overview of which policy areas are essential parts of a country’s overall strategy to promote entrepreneurship....
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