Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy
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Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy

Edited by David B. Audretsch, Isabel Grilo and A. Roy Thurik

This unique Handbook provides a solid foundation for essential study in the nascent field of entrepreneurship policy research. This foundation is initially developed via the exploration of two significant propositions underpinning the nature of entrepreneurship policy research. The first is that entrepreneurship has emerged as a bona fide focus of public policy, particularly with respect to economic growth and employment creation. The second is that neither scholars nor policy makers are presently equipped to understand the public policy role for entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 8: A Rough Guide to Entrepreneurship Policy

Anders N. Hoffmann


Anders N. Hoffmann1 Introduction During the 1990s, ‘entrepreneurship’ was a buzzword both in the media and in the political debate. Newspapers were full of success stories about self-made billionaires. Politicians supported their endeavours and attempted to associate themselves with successful entrepreneurs. Old fashion subsidies to ineffective small firms were consequently relabelled as entrepreneurship policy and the majority of the old rhetoric related to the policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) was adopted by the ‘new’ entrepreneurship policy makers. New firms are mostly small; therefore SME policies should benefit entrepreneurs. The logic behind this argument is as clear as the following statement: ‘People cannot fly. Rocks cannot fly, so people are rocks.’ Although some have defined entrepreneurship policy as ‘ensuring small firms can compete in the marketplace and that they are not prejudiced because of their small size, relative to large firms’ (Lundström and Stevenson, 2005, p. 37), it is actually about creating a dynamic economy, which ensures that people can start new ventures and subsequently develop these ventures to become high-growth firms (Hart et al., 2003). As formulated by the Danish government, entrepreneurship policy should support and increase a country’s ability to compete on knowledge, new ideas, and the ability to adapt and find new solutions to problems (Danish Government Platform, 2005). The objective of this chapter is to provide both policy makers and scholars with a quick overview of which policy areas are essential parts of a country’s overall strategy to promote entrepreneurship....

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