Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
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Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Theory, Practice and Futures

Ben Spigel

This is a guide to understanding entrepreneurial ecosystems: what they are, why they matter, and to whom they matter. Ben Spigel explores this popular new theory of economic development, locating the intellectual roots of ecosystems, explaining the practices and processes that allow ecosystems to support the creation and growth of innovative entrepreneurial firms.
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Chapter 2: The intellectual foundations of entrepreneurial ecosystems

Ben Spigel

Abstract

While the popularity of entrepreneurial ecosystems is new, the idea is based on a foundation of prior work. This chapter locates the origins of entrepreneurial ecosystem concepts in five research domains: high-growth entrepreneurship, context, embeddedness, clusters and regional innovation systems, and finally entrepreneurial environments. The emergence of ecosystem thinking is also linked with three changes in how entrepreneurship and economic development policies are done: lean business models, digital affordances, and local policy devolution. This chapter examines all these research foundations and identifies the salient points they contribute to entrepreneurial ecosystems.

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