entrepreneurial ecosystem intro

entrepreneurial ecosystem intro - Introduction developments...

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Unformatted text preview: Introduction: developments in industrial policy Over the last sixty years there has been an evolution in the manner in which governments in advanced countries have undertaken industrial and enterprise policies (Warwick, 2013).3 Over the past twenty years there has been an escalation in both the quantity of policy initiatives and the level of funding committed to these activities in a process termed the ‘developmental‘ state (Rodrik, 2004; Block, 2008). These changes can be summarised as a shift from traditional enterprise policies to growth-oriented enterprise policies and has involved significant changes in the unit of focus, how it operates and how it interconnects with other policies. This has resulted in a gradual change, varying across different countries, towards a much greater focus on support for growth-oriented entrepreneurship as outlined in Table 1, The consequence is that policy makers across the OECD are now strongly focused on promoting high growth firms (HGFs) (OECD, 2010; 2013]. The rationale for this focus is that HGFs are thought to drive productivity growth, create new employment, increase innovation and promote business internationalization (OECD, 2013; Brown et al, 2014). A recent meta-analysis of prior empirical studies concluded that “a few rapidly growing firms generate a disproportionately large share of all net new jobs compared with non-high growth firms. This is a clear—cut result... [T]his is particularly pronounced in recessions when Gazelles continue to grow" (Henrekson and Johansson, 2010; 240). The policy interest in HGFs can therefore be explained largely in one word: ‘jobs’ (Coed et al', 2014). An influential UK study covering the period 2002-2008 found that HGFs represented about 6% of the total number of businesses (termed ‘the vital six percent‘) but created 54% of all net new jobs in the UK (Anyadike-Danes at at, 2009). The majority of these HGFs were small (less than 50 employees) but well established (over five years old). Moreover, these firms are distributed across all industry sectors, with no bias towards technology-based firms. Updating this research to cover the onset of the financial crisis (2006-10) found that the number of HGFs was very similar to both the 2002-2005 and 2005-2008 periods and that, as before, they generated more than half of all new jobs created by firms with 10 or more employees, emphasising that HGFs are equally significant in periods of economic growth and recession (NESTA, 2011). HGFs do not only create jobs directly; they also have important spill-over effects that are beneficial to the growth of other firms in the same locality (Mason et al, 2009; Du et al, 2013) and industrial cluster (Feldman et al, 2005; Brown, 2011). There is evidence that HGFs also provide an important Schumpeterian stimulus within economies by increasing competition, promoting innovation and increasing the efficient allocation of resources within economies. Certainly, there is evidence that HGFs have above average levels of productivity growth (Mason et al, 2009), high levels of innovation (Coad, 2009; Mason et al'. 2009), strong levels of export—orientation (Parsley and Halabisky, 2008) and a high level of internationalisation (B15, 2010; Mason and Brown, 2010). Recent research also shows that these firms invest heavily in human capital (Mason et al, 2012) and are more likely than non~HGFs to employ disadvantaged people in the labour market, such as the longvterrn unemployed and economic migrants (Coad et al, 2014). As Storey and Greene (2010, p. 203) observe: “there is little doubt that small businesses that become middle—sized and ultimately large businesses, over a comparatively short period of time, are central to economic prosperity... Ultimately, the ability of a country to nurture the growth of such businesses is probably the most important element in enterprise development." This emerging policy focus has a number of evolving dimensions. First, many start-up programmes are now concentrating their support efforts on high-growth start-ups. This reflects the growing acceptance that not all start-ups are of equal ‘economic value‘ and that some new firms many merely displace other 3 Industry policy can be defined as ‘nny type of intervention or government policy that attempts to improve the business environment or to after the structure of economic activity towards sectors, technologies or tasks that are expected to offer better prospects for Economic growth or societal welfare than would occur in the absence of such intervention’ Warwick, 2013. p.13). firms in the same locality (Nightingale and Coad, 2014). Indeed, some academics have described a blanket policy focus on new start-ups as ‘bad public policy’ (Shane, 2009). Further, it is claimed by some that the ‘evidence suggests the contribution of entrepreneurial start-ups to the economy is limited and in some cases can be potentially damaging” (Nightingale and Coad, 2014, p. 136). Nevertheless, despite evidence that HGFs are not exclusively new businesses (Acs et al, 2008; Mason and Brown, 2010; 2013), policies in many OECD countries continue to emphasise start-ups. Specific policy support instruments to nurture high growth start-ups are primarily ‘transactional’ in nature, notably R&D grants and tax incentives, business accelerators and incubators, proof-of-concept funds and access to funding (OECD, 2010). A strong feature of HGF support instruments has been a focus on innovation support (Mason and Brown, 2013). There has also been significant support for university»based spin-off firms (Lockett et al, 2005; Brown et al, 2014). Increasing the supply of risk finance initiatives is also a key feature of these policy frameworks (Mason, 2009; Lerner, 2009; 2010; OECD, 2010). ...
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