Synergies, Policy Lessons and Overlooked Dimensions
Edited by Alexandra Tsvetkova, Jana Schmutzler and Rhiannon Pugh
Chapter 9: Beyond entrepreneurial culture in the entrepreneurial ecosystems framework: Contributions from economic anthropology
The entrepreneurial ecosystems (EE) framework proposes a holistic and systemic approach to the understanding of contextual conditions enabling entrepreneurship, particularly the growth-oriented one. From this perspective, a key element of a sound EE is a strong entrepreneurial culture, understood as a set of societal norms encouraging risk taking, experimentation and innovation, providing social status to the entrepreneur and rewarding individuals’ wealth creation, entrepreneurial hunger and drive. Based on these definitions, the EE framework largely constrains entrepreneurship to the creation of high-growth businesses, and culture to the set of socially established structures that influence the behavior of entrepreneurs with regard to such task. Starting from some critiques to the EE framework, this chapter reviews relevant insights from economic anthropology. We argue that this model can greatly benefit from a broader conceptualization of entrepreneurship as a dynamic, agency-based process of social change and culture as an enduring set of shared values and beliefs, distinguishing members of a social group, providing collective meaning, molding worldviews and thus shaping the whole social, institutional and economic setting in which entrepreneurship is embedded. From this review, we identify some entry points for an extended, anthropology-sensitive systemic approach to EE and some policy implications.
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