Edited by Urban Gråsjö, Charlie Karlsson and Iréne Bernhard
Chapter 9: Stimulation of entrepreneurship and innovation as an instrument in regional business development policy
Entrepreneurship and innovation are central targets in business development initiatives and regional development, nationally as well as on the international and European arena. The project presented in this chapter addresses two aspects. The first is the potential conflict of targets embedded in the aim to improve the economic performance and competitiveness of countries and the need to prevent an increase in regional diversity with regard to growth and wealth. The second is linked to multilevel governance, involving actors from the European level to the local/regional level with competing competencies and resources. First, the current structure and the availability of programs and instruments to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurial behavior are presented. The next section outlines the theoretical framework based on the concepts of New Economic Growth Theory. The fourth section provides an overview of national and regional figures for innovation and entrepreneurship based on data from the Regional Innovation Scoreboard and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The section also addresses the potentials of regional growth initiatives based on entrepreneurship and innovation stimulating measures from an empirical and conceptual point of view. The final section summarizes the main findings and addresses how the identified potential conflicts of targets and interests can be avoided, or solved in the process of implementation.
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