Measure Twice, Cut Once. Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Metrics

Prof. Erik Stam, Utrecht University

An entrepreneurial ecosystem comprises a set of interdependent actors and factors that are governed in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. While the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach is useful to think about regional economies, it currently lacks full-fledged metrics to enable policy. In this paper, we bridge this gap by quantifying and qualifying regional economies using the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. We operationalize ten elements of entrepreneurial ecosystems for 274 regions in the 28 countries of the European Union. The ecosystem elements show strong and positive correlations between them, confirming the systemic nature of entrepreneurial economies, and the need for a complex systems perspective. Our results show that formal institutions and physical infrastructure take a central position in the interdependence web, providing a first indication of these elements as fundamental conditions of entrepreneurial ecosystems. We then use the elements to calculate an index that measures the quality of entrepreneurial ecosystems. This index is robust and performs well in regressions to predict entrepreneurial output, which we measure using novel data on productive entrepreneurship.

About the speaker

Erik Stam is Professor of Strategy, Organization & Entrepreneurship and Dean of the Utrecht University School of Economics. Next to this he is Faculty Director of Center for Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University, and founding board member of the Utrecht University Strategic Research Theme Institutions for Open Societies. He held positions at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the University of Cambridge, the Max Planck Institute of Economics (Jena, Germany), and the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR). He has been visiting professor or scholar at institutes such as the University of Cambridge, Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo), Indiana University at Bloomington, Institute of Industrial Economics Stockholm, Leibniz Universität Hannover, University of Oxford, Tel Aviv University, University of Turku, and Zhejiang University (Hangzhou). 

He is a leading scholar on entrepreneurial ecosystems. His broader research interests cover the societal and organizational contexts of entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurship improves the performance of firms and economies. He has (co-)authored more than hundred books, book chapters, and articles in a variety of disciplines, including economics, geography, business/management and public administration. He is editor of the journal Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. Next to his scientific work he often engages with governments, start-ups and corporates on innovation and entrepreneurship. He has served many Ministries in the Netherlands and other countries, the European Commission, the OECD, the G20, and the World Bank. He is on the advisory board of several public and private sector entrepreneurship organizations.

Venue: 0.18

Date: 20 February 2020

Time: 12:30 - 13:30