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Entrepreneurship in Russia and Eastern European Countries: Theory, Policy and Practice

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies

Special Issue Editor: Elena G Popkova, Volgograd State Technical University, Russia

This special issue aims at advancing research on entrepreneurship in Russia and countries of Eastern Europe with focus on theory, policy and practice.

Entrepreneurship and innovations are the main driving force of the development of modern economic systems. Technological progress opens new perspectives in the sphere of development of entrepreneurial activities and increase of innovative activity of economic agents. At the same time, there is still a large gap between the levels of development of entrepreneurship in various countries – leading states are peculiar for innovations-oriented economy, while underdeveloped countries just start on the path of post-industrialization.

The post-financial crisis world economy is still highly fragile and low growth appears to be the new normal. The recent collapse of oil prices has compounded the problems faced by countries like Russia. Clearly, the sources of growth of the past decades are exhausted and a new source of economic growth and competitiveness has to arise. A study conducted by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Russia (2015) has found that entrepreneurship is playing an important role in revitalizing the Russian economy. In Russia and countries of Eastern Europe, entrepreneurship ensures the establishment of competitive market economies, stimulates achievement of necessary flexibility and adaptability of economic systems, and innovates for development and increase of effectiveness.

Yet, our knowledge about entrepreneurship in Russia and Eastern European countries remains limited. The report produced by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Russia (2015) has thus called the entrepreneurial part of Russian economy the ‘unknown Russia’. Since Russia and Eastern European countries have gone through tremendous economic transformation and have a short history of free-market capitalism, these economies have also offered a fertile ground to contextualising existing entrepreneurship theories for both developing new theory and generating new insights into policy and practice. In these countries, there is a new generation of young people who live and breathe entrepreneurship. Also, in these countries central governments and regional authorities ideologically support the development of the private business sector. The number of measures governments used to support entrepreneurship has grown significantly. As in many other countries, where there is an environment conducive to entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs respond to it positively and new businesses thrive. Nonetheless, these economies are also characterized by underdeveloped formal institutions, often resulting in an unstable environment and creating a void usually filled by informal ones. Entrepreneurs in transition environments thus face more uncertainty and risk than those in more developed economies (Puffer, McCarthy & Boisot, 2010). In recent years, a number of studies have investigated the effect of institutions on entrepreneurship in Russia (Aidis, Estrin & Mickiewicz, 2008; Ojala & Isomäki, 2011; Puffer, McCarthy & Boisot, 2010; Volchek, Jantunen & Saarenketo, 2013) and in Eastern Europe (Krammer, 2009; Manolova, Eunni & Gyoshev, 2008). Overall, however, entrepreneurship in Russia and Eastern European countries remains a myth. We still have very little knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship in these countries. For example, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM) Survey in Russia in 2014 found that only 4.7% of working age adults are early-stage entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurship continues to play a small role in the economy, not only in comparison with other BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries but also in comparison with countries of Eastern Europe (Olga, 2014). It was also found that only 36% of entrepreneurs consider the external conditions favourable for starting up a business and that fear of failure prevents 42% of non- entrepreneurs from starting up. Nonetheless, the report of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Russia (2015) finds that Russian entrepreneurs are the driving force of a dynamic economy outside the national resource sector.

This special issue with emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovations in Russia and countries of Eastern Europe is intended to offer a platform for contextualizing entrepreneurship theories in Russia and countries of Eastern Europe, and empirical investigation into entrepreneurial behaviours, entrepreneurial process, entrepreneurial environment, and impact of entrepreneurship.

Therefore, this call welcomes all the papers that aim at either testing the relevancy of entrepreneurship theories in the context of Russia and countries of Eastern Europe or at improving our knowledge of entrepreneurship in terms of policy, practice, and impact.

More specifically, the call for papers will focus on research dealing with the following issues (but are not limited by them):
-    entrepreneurship and economic growth
-    entrepreneurship  and social development
-    influence of innovations on functioning and development of national system of entrepreneurship
-    national entrepreneurial system
-    entrepreneurship and innovational policy
-    clusters and entrepreneurship, clusters and innovations
-    regional entrepreneurial eco-system
-    entrepreneurship  and regional inequality
-    entrepreneurial behavior
-    new venture creation and high-impact startups
-    entrepreneurial strategy
-    women’s entrepreneurship
-    social entrepreneurship
-    sustainable entrepreneurship
-    international entrepreneurship

This Special Issue is intended to bring a significant value to entrepreneurship re­searchers, policy-makers and entrepreneurs. Enquiries from authors can be sent to Prof. Elena Popkova ([email protected]).

Submissions to this special issue must be made through the Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies ScholarOne submission site ( Please ensure the correct special issue is selected from the drop down menu on page 4 of the submission process.

For additional guidelines, please see the Author Guidelines on the journal homepage. Papers suitable for publication in the Special Issue will be double-blind reviewed, following the JEEE's review process guidelines.

The Special Issue is scheduled to be published in 2018. The following timetable/deadline dates are given for your information:
1.    Submission of full papers: 30 May 2017
2.    First feedback from reviewers: 30 October 2017
3.    Submission of the revised papers: 30 April 2018
4.    Expected delivery date to JEEE: 1 July 2018

Contact information
Please feel free to contact Prof. Elena G. Popkova, Volgograd State Technical University ([email protected]) if you have any queries about the Special Issue.

Aidis, R., Estrin, S., & Mickiewicz, T. (2008). Institutions and entrepreneurship development in Russia: A comparative perspective. Journal of Business Venturing, 23(6), 656-672.

Krammer, S. M. (2009). Drivers of national innovation in transition: Evidence from a panel of Eastern European countries. Research Policy, 38(5), 845-860.

Manolova, T. S., Eunni, R. V., & Gyoshev, B. S. (2008). Institutional environments for entrepreneurship: Evidence from emerging economies in Eastern Europe. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 32(1), 203-218.

Ojala, A., & Isomäki, H. (2011). Entrepreneurship and small businesses in Russia: a review of empirical research. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 18(1), 97-119.

Olga, Verkhovskaya About 90% of the population is not only not involved in business activities, but also do not see opportunities to build businesses for themselves, retrieved from

Puffer, S. M., McCarthy, D. J., & Boisot, M. (2010). Entrepreneurship in Russia and China: The impact of formal institutional voids. Entrepreneurship theory and practice, 34(3), 441-467.

Volchek, D., Jantunen, A., & Saarenketo, S. (2013). The institutional environment for international entrepreneurship in Russia: Reflections on growth decisions and performance in SMEs. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 11(4), 320-350.

World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Russia (2015), Unknown Russia: Powered by Entrepreneurs. World Economic Forum.