Edited by Philip Cooke, Bjørn Asheim, Ron Boschma, Ron Martin, Dafna Schwartz and Franz Tödtling
Niels Bosma, Veronique Schutjens and Erik Stam INTRODUCTION Many studies have shown that the occurrences of new entrepreneurial activities are unevenly spread across regions (Reynolds et al., 1994; Stam, 2005; Bosma et al., 2009). Such regional heterogeneity in entrepreneurship exerts a direct effect on regional economic development. But there are also indirect effects at play within the nexus of geography, entrepreneurship and growth: regional circumstances affect not only the intensity of new entrepreneurial activities but also the extent to which entrepreneurship interacts and interplays with regional innovation – towards regional economic growth. Understanding the mechanisms that cause regional heterogeneity in new entrepreneurial activities is thus of crucial importance for making the link with innovation and regional growth. In this chapter we provide an overview of empirical studies on the geography of entrepreneurship, or in other words, the geographies of distinct types of new entrepreneurship. A focus on entrepreneurship means a focus on structure and agency; it is about individuals who identify, evaluate and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities within certain structures, while at the same time influencing these structures. These structures have spatial aspects, which are reflected in, for example, localization and urbanization (dis)economies, region-specific institutions, the organization of industries in regions, and the regional availability of production factors. While we emphasize conditions of regional variations in distinct types of entrepreneurship, we start this chapter by briefly assessing, from a geographical perspective, the alleged consequences of entrepreneurship in terms of economic growth. We then proceed by discussing the main conditions underlying regional...
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