Innovations in Entrepreneurship Support: Alternatives, Opportunities and Future Agendas
Oliver Mallett (Newcastle University) firstname.lastname@example.org
Norin Arshed (Heriot-Watt University)
Robert Wapshott (University of Sheffield)
Aims and Scope
Entrepreneurship support for start-ups and growing businesses represents a booming industry in terms of public and private sector provision as innovative solutions are sought to unlock the potential of entrepreneurship to address a range of economic and social challenges. Seeking to contribute to ongoing debates about how to best achieve these aims, this special issue will bring together internationally-relevant empirical evidence and theoretical considerations on new and innovative forms of entrepreneurship support.
Policymakers across continents and contexts seek economic regeneration and vitality through entrepreneurship (Audretsch et al., 2007). A wide range of interventions have been made by governments, and associated agencies, to encourage and support enterprise, business start-up and growth (Bennett, 2014). Such interventions have sought to address challenges around social exclusion (Blackburn and Ram, 2006; Mallett and Wapshott, 2015; OECD/EC, 2015) in addition to economic under-performance within industries (Storey, 2003) and geographical areas (Greene et al, 2007; Huggins et al, 2015). Despite the significant scale of many such efforts (Richard, 2008), persistent concerns have questioned the ability of politicians and civil servants to intervene effectively in the support of entrepreneurs (Arshed et al., 2014; Bridge, 2010; Shane, 2009; Smallbone et al., 2002).
However, the significance of apparent shortcomings in effective entrepreneurship support from government must be assessed in relation to the wide range of non-governmental provision available in many markets (Gibb, 2000; Mallett, 2016). Everyday business information and advice can be accessed through membership organisations (Bennett, 1995), personal networks (Ceci and Iubatti, 2012), universities (Pugh et al, 2016; Smallbone et al, 2015) and professional business services such as accountants (Jarvis and Rigby, 2012; Marriott and Marriott, 2000). The scale of non-governmental provision in some contexts has led to the emergence of an ‘enterprise industry’ (Greene et al, 2007; Mallett, 2016) comprising advisers ready to offer guidance and support on how to start, grow and sustain successful businesses.
Among the volume of support, advice and guidance available, it can be difficult to identify instances where innovations in entrepreneurship support are proving effective and to which businesses. Such examples are likely to be rooted in a specific context and attuned to the needs of particular stakeholders (Dennis 2011a, 2011b) rather than a one-size-fits-all approach (Bennett, 2014; Zahra and Wright, 2011). This relates to the need to consider new ways of considering how to develop or facilitate these forms of support, for example through anchor institutions (Smallbone et al, 2015) or as entrepreneurial ecosystems (Spigel, 2015) and this raises important questions about the ease of transplanting innovations from one context for implementation in another. There is a vital role for robust academic assessment, evaluation and engagement to identify productive ways forward.
The special issue seeks to gather together insights into the supports for entrepreneurship located in a range of contexts. It invites submissions that consider international examples of innovations in entrepreneurship support with a view to establishing fresh ideas and insights that may be of wider application.
We invite empirical and theoretical articles that engage with any of the following (or related) areas of interest to better understanding entrepreneurship support:
– Key actors and stakeholders in entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship support and entrepreneurial ecosystems
– Examinations of the key resources, contexts, capabilities and activities for the innovative support of entrepreneurship
– Supporting entrepreneurs facing exclusion, discrimination and other forms of disadvantage
– Alternative forms of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship support, including but not limited to social entrepreneurship and collective entrepreneurship
– International comparative studies
– Effective evaluation of innovations in entrepreneurship support
– Critical perspectives that question underlying assumptions in entrepreneurship support
For initial enquires and expressions of interest please contact:
Oliver Mallett email@example.com
1 April 2017: Call for Papers / 30 April 2018: Submission Deadline / 2019: Publication
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