Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Hans Landström, Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren and David Smallbone
Hans Crijns, Eddy Laveren, Hans Landström and David Smallbone The ﬁeld of entrepreneurship and small business studies has prospered and grown considerably in recent years in all European countries, with remarkable developments taking place in the research frameworks and methodologies used. Progress in the ﬁeld of entrepreneurship is not only triggered by the exchange of ideas and new analyses inside the research community. It is also triggered by the growing emphasis on entrepreneurship in policy agendas and business communities all over Europe, which has stimulated dialogue between the research community and communities of practice. New and small ﬁrms, rather than large ones, are the main providers of new jobs in most economies. Countries exhibiting the highest rates of entrepreneurship tend to exhibit greater subsequent decreases in unemployment rates. Research suggests that entrepreneurship provides a positive contribution to economic growth, although GDP growth is inﬂuenced by many other factors. Nevertheless, it is often argued that the key to economic growth and productivity improvements is entrepreneurial capacity. By 2010 the European Union aims to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. In 2001 the European Council agreed on a strategy for sustainable development, adding an environmental dimension to the Lisbon strategy. The Council recognized the need for radical transformation of the economy in order to create some 15 million new jobs by 2010. A friendly environment for starting and developing businesses is...