Elgar original reference
Edited by Friederike Welter and David Smallbone
Chapter 1: Entrepreneurship Policies in the Wider Europe: A Thematic Perspective
Friederike Welter and David Smallbone INTRODUCTION This book analyses the role of government and policies in relation to the development of entrepreneurship and small businesses in Central and (South) Eastern European countries where entrepreneurship either was restricted to certain sectors and types of business as for example in Poland or Hungary, or was fully illegal until the late 1980s as in, for example, former Czechoslovakia or the Baltic States. There is an increasing interest in policy issues, as evidenced by the recent publication of a number of books on entrepreneurship policy (for example, Audretsch et al. 2007; Hart 2003; Leitão and Baptista 2009; Lundström and Stevenson 2005) and special issues of international journals (Minniti 2008; Robson et al. 2009). However, these publications emphasize entrepreneurship policy in the context of mature market economies, where the legislative and regulatory environment has evolved over decades or even centuries. In such environments, policy makers have had considerable experience in designing and implementing policy initiatives to foster entrepreneurship and societies are generally in favour of and accustomed to entrepreneurship activities. This contrasts with post-socialist economies in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, where, in most cases, entrepreneurship development started in the late 1980s and early 1990s with fundamental reforms, all of which presented enormous challenges to policy makers. The recent entrepreneurship discussion has emphasized the need to view entrepreneurship within the wider political, economic and social contexts in which it takes place (for example, Baker et al. 2005; Davidsson 2003;...