The Cutting Edge

The Cutting Edge

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in New Europe

Edited by Ruta Aidis and Friederike Welter

This original selection of case studies from eight new EU member countries looks at the ability of entrepreneurs to develop innovative and successful firms in an environment of turbulent social and economic change.

Chapter 3: ‘Matter-of-Fact’ Entrepreneurship: FILKAB Joint Stock Company, Bulgaria

Tatiana S. Manolova

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational innovation, innovation and technology, organisational innovation

Extract

Tatiana S. Manolova INTRODUCTION Economies in transition have lately seen a rapid rise in entrepreneurship. During the 1990s, about 5 per cent of the adult working population in these countries attempted to start a new business or to become self-employed, a figure very similar to the percentage of nascent entrepreneurs in the United States and Western Europe (Peng 2001). Private small and medium-sized enterprises account for as much as 80 per cent of the GDP of countries such as the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic, Estonia or Hungary, almost as much as in the industrialized West (EBRD 2005). Entrepreneurship is seen as a major engine for job creation and social change in these economies. That new and small entrepreneurial firms realize their full innovation and growth potential is therefore an important managerial and public policy concern. Most of what we know about entrepreneurship in transition economies centres around the costs and constraints to entry and growth. Prior research, in particular, has extensively explored the negative effect of the underdeveloped and uncertain institutional environment (Peng 2001; Puffer and McCarthy 2001). Relatively less is known about the individuallevel, firm-level, and environmental factors which enhance entrepreneurial performance in the context of transition economies. The present study seeks to address this gap by offering an in-depth look at the evolution and key success factors for an entrepreneurial venture in the cable distribution sector of the Bulgarian economy. It focuses, in particular, on the role and interplay of the founding team, the...

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