The Role of Entrepreneurship Theory and Methods, Practice and Policy
Edited by Sameeksha Desai, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 12: The Entrepreneurial Environment: Business Incubation in the Charlotte Metropolitan Region
Peter M. Frank 12.1 INTRODUCTION A focus on regional economic development and policy has grown in earnest since the early 1990s. Regions in the US and around the world have grown considerably during the vast economic transformation that has occurred during this time period. Whether considering the rise of the ‘new economy’ or the ‘knowledge economy’, or whatever moniker is used to label the global shift toward economies dominated by information technology, the unit of analysis garnering significant attention is the region. While regions have always played an important role in national economic growth and development, they have more recently usurped the nation as the most significant piece on the global economic map (Ohmae, 1993). Juxtaposed with the rise of regional economic development and the technological transformation of economies throughout the world is the birth of what has been labeled the entrepreneurial society (Florida, 2001). These two economic transformations, the ascension of the region and the entrepreneurial society, have brought about significant efforts by researchers and policy-makers to explain how regions can grow and develop. Regions throughout the world are seeking to develop and maintain an entrepreneurial environment that will help them participate in the economic growth enjoyed by many. As the economy shifts toward technology-intensive knowledge-based economic activity, there are more opportunities for entrepreneurs to create new businesses and discover unique products or production methods. This change toward a knowledge-based economy is credited for creating an increase in small businesses and entrepreneurial activity (Wennekers and Thurik, 1999). Additionally, Porter...
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