Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik
* David B. Audretsch and Iris A.M. Beckmann Policy makers’ emerging interest in entrepreneurship The emergence of entrepreneurship policy as a mechanism to stimulate economic growth, employment generation, and competitiveness in global markets is a phenomenon in many countries. In fact, a shift in economic policy started during the 1990s and the promotion of start-ups turned into an important policy strategy to achieve these goals. Just a few years earlier entrepreneurship and, in particular new and small ﬁrms, were viewed as imposing a burden on the economy. For example, the Small Business Administration in the United States was created with a clear and compelling mandate to protect and preserve ﬁrms that were burdened with size-inherent ineﬃciencies rendering them uncompetitive. Traditionally, the public policy focus on economic growth has revolved around macroeconomic instruments involving monetary and ﬁscal policies. The shift in policy focus can be best illustrated looking at the new growth policy of the EU that would have been unimaginable only a few years earlier. The European Union devised a new strategy to spur economic growth, create jobs and reduce unemployment. With the 2000 Lisbon Strategy, Romano Prodi, who was at the time serving as President of the European Commission, committed Europe to becoming the economic leader by 2010 in order to ensure prosperity and a high standard of living throughout the continent. More to the point, Prodi declared in a speech given in 2002 that the promotion of entrepreneurship was a central cornerstone of European economic growth policy: ‘Our...
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