Frontiers in European Entrepreneurship Research
Edited by Mário Raposo, David Smallbone, Károly Balaton and Lilla Hortoványi
Chapter 8: The Entrepreneurship Potential within Swiss Regions: A Comparison Based on Cluster Analysis
Katharina Becker, Franz Kronthaler and Kerstin Wagner INTRODUCTION New businesses are considered to be important for regional economic development and growth (see, for example, Audretsch et al., 2006; Fritsch and Mueller, 2008). New venture creation, however, varies considerably between regions, indicating differences in their endogenous potential and structural characteristics for new business formation. Taking both these factors into account, policy-makers and stakeholders should strive to increase entrepreneurial activity at the national as well as at the regional level, in order to increase economic welfare. In Switzerland, a New Regional Policy (NRP) instrument has been created, with the aim of increasing entrepreneurial activity in peripheral and semi-peripheral regions. One important question, however, is how to support this entrepreneurial activity in such a way that limited resources are used most efficiently, and so that any policy measures taken best fit the prevailing regional structural conditions. The present study examines the conditions for new venture creation in Swiss regions. The conditions for new venture creation include the resources, structural characteristics and abilities of a region to generate new firms. They are measured by a set of variables derived from theoretical and empirical literature on entrepreneurship. In particular, answers are being sought to two main questions. First, in what way do Swiss regions vary with regard to their potential for venture creation, and by which strengths and weaknesses are they characterized? Secondly, what can be derived from the characteristics of regions for the NRP to strengthen entrepreneurial activity? Cluster analysis is used to identify...
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