Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by David Smallbone, João Leitão, Mário Raposo and Friederike Welter
David Smallbone, João Leitão, Mário Raposo and Friederike Welter INTRODUCING RENT XXII IN COVILHÃ This volume represents a selection of best papers from the 137 presented at the RENT XXII Conference held at the University of Beira Interior in Covilhã, Portugal, 20–21 November 2008. As such, it provides a window on contemporary European research in the field of entrepreneurship and small business. Although varied in terms of the topics covered, all of the selected papers contribute in some way to the overall conference theme of ‘Entrepreneurship as an engine of regional development’. The venue for the 2008 conference was particularly appropriate for this theme, in view of the key role being played by entrepreneurship in the development of this part of Portugal. In fact, entrepreneurship has been a strategic driver for creating employment, increasing income, facilitating the adjustment to economic change and supporting competitiveness at the local level. Nevertheless, in order to foster entrepreneurship at the regional level, there is a need to strengthen the role played by entrepreneurial universities, especially, in terms of entrepreneurship education oriented towards innovation and endogenous growth. The aim is to develop the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of undergraduate and graduate students, and of university staff. In this sense, the institutional hardware at the regional level needs to be redesigned to reflect both traditional and emerging production and service activities. The aim should be to identify groups of innovative firms associated with activities geographically concentrated around entrepreneurial universities, acting as a driving...