Policymakers throughout Europe and the US have responded to rising concerns about unemployment, jobs, growth and international competitiveness in global markets with a new mandate to promote the creation of innovative new businesses. While recent literature identified clear and decisive links between entrepreneurship, growth, job creation and international competitiveness, policy makers were initially slow to recognize these links. Without a clear and organized view of where and how entrepreneurship manifests itself, policy makers have been left in uncharted waters without an analytical compass.
The purpose of this book is to provide such an analytical compass for directing how public policy can shape and promote entrepreneurship. We do this in two ways. The first is to provide a framework for policymakers and scholars to understand what determines entrepreneurship. The second is to apply this framework to a series of cases, or country studies. In particular, this book seeks to answer three questions about entrepreneurship: What has happened over time? Why did it happen? And, what has been the role of government policy?
The cornerstone of the book is the proposed Eclectic Theory of Entrepreneurship. The goal of the Eclectic Theory is to provide a unified framework for understanding and analyzing the determinants of entrepreneurship. The Eclectic Theory of entrepreneurship integrates the different strands from relevant fields into a unifying, coherent framework. At the heart of the Eclectic Theory is the integration of factors shaping the demand for entrepreneurship on the one hand, with those influencing the supply of entrepreneurs on the other hand. The key to understanding the role of public policy is through identifying those channels shifting either the demand for or the supply of entrepreneurship by policy instruments.
The findings in this book show that, by utilizing the framework provided by the Eclectic Theory of Entrepreneurship, it is within the grasp of policymakers to identify the determinants of entrepreneurship in a particular country setting at a particular point in time. This will be essential in formulating new public policies to promote entrepreneurship and, ultimately, economic growth, job creation and international competitiveness.