Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Dynamics and Metrics

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This paper presents our review of the literature and industry reports in relation to attempts to quantify and measure entrepreneurial ecosystems. Public interest and research on entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) has exploded in recent years, with many different conceptualisations of EEs. How they are opera-tionalised and quantified remains a challenge. However, having a reliable metric for the state or health of an EE remains of great interest to policy makers and researchers alike. In this study, we review the emerg-ing literature on EEs with a focus on attempts to quantify what they are and how they work. While there is an emerging concesus or synthesis of what EEs are, the literature and reports on their quantification remain scattered. Many quantitative studies are based on the practicality of using data with very limited availability. Others use macro-level or aggregated individual level data to make inferences about what occurs at the level of the firm, their immediate network, or how these interactions play out across the ecosystem across a very diverse set of actors. While startups are the primary outcome and primary stakeholder in EEs, the broader literature recognises that startups do not operate in isolation, and that their emergence depends on the actions and interaction with other stakeholders, such as larger corpora-tions, universities, government and other incumbents. A single-minded obsession about the number of startups and their fundings deprives policy makers and researchers the ability to study the whole system or context in which they exist and create jobs, wealth and innovations.
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