A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship Policy
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A Research Agenda for Entrepreneurship Policy

Edited by David Smallbone and Friederike Welter

This book makes the case for a change in the research agenda on entrepreneurship policy. An exemplary group of authors addresses the agenda for entrepreneurship policy researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the field. A key theme is the importance of context, which is particularly marked where policy transfer is attempted.
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Chapter 4: A research agenda for entrepreneurship policy

David Storey and Jonathan Potter


Entrepreneurship policy is a major area of government expenditure demanding evaluation for purposes of accountability and policy improvement, particularly in the context of widespread doubts about the effectiveness of some of these policies. The OECD Framework for the Evaluation of SME and Entrepreneurship Policies and Programmes set out key principles of entrepreneurship policy evaluation. It emphasised the importance of specifying the underlying rationale for the policy, identifying clear objectives for each intervention prior to introduction and embedding evaluation in a policy cycle. Finally, it provided a review of evaluations available at that time and classified their reliability according to the Six Steps to Heaven framework. Despite these recommendations, entrepreneurship policy evaluation continues to be patchy in its scope, regularity and robustness in most countries, even though there have been considerable improvements in evaluation techniques in the last decade. This chapter updates an earlier review performed by the authors in 2007 with the aim of encouraging governments to ensure entrepreneurship policies are systematically and robustly evaluated using the best-available techniques and data.

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