This page is older archived content from an older version of the Emerald Publishing website.

As such, it may not display exactly as originally intended.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Public Policy

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

Guest Editors:
G. Jason Jolley, Associate Professor of Rural Economic Development, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University.
Luke A. Pittaway, Copeland Professor of Entrepreneurship, College of Business, Ohio University.

Rationale for the special issue:
1.    Explore regional and location-based approaches to the establishment, development and growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
2.    Consider the role of public policy, how it supports and limits the emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
3.    Advance conceptual and empirical study within the subject as it relates to new and potentially innovative approaches to public policies aimed at supporting entrepreneurship within specified geographic locations.
4.    Enhance consideration of the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems in non-obvious locations, such as, small cities, university towns and sparsely populated rural areas.
5.    Allow for greater consideration of ‘entrepreneurial learning’ and ‘entrepreneurship education’ within the context of the establishment and growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

    Interest in the concept of an entrepreneurial ecosystem has been growing in recent years (World Economic Forum, 2013).  The concept is rooted in ideas about the role of clusters in geographic locations and is linked to work about industrial districts and clusters of innovation (Feldman, Francis and Bercovitz, 2005).  An entrepreneurial ecosystem can be defined in a number of different ways but it is common to consider an entrepreneurial ecosystem to be. “…the union of localized cultural outlooks, social networks, investment capital, universities and active economic policies that create environments of supportive of innovation-based ventures (Spigel, 2015).  The “eco” part of the word links back to an analogy of ecological systems that are morphogenic, flexible and constantly adapting in complex ways, while the “system” aspect of the definition suggests an organized quality to the way in which overall interactions occur.  In recent public policy the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems has become popular and policy professionals are increasingly interested to explore how they can create such ecosystems in their locality and for their communities (World Economic Forum, 2013).  Typically entrepreneurial ecosystems have a geographic component and may be considered to be located in a region, a city, a specific part of a city or around an organization (e.g. a university, research lab or major corporation).  This special issue is, therefore, interested in the specific public policy considerations for the development and maintenance of environments that seen to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
    Research on entrepreneurial ecosystems has been developing and there is much prior relevant work on clusters, industrial districts and clusters of innovation (Roundy, 2016).  Most study of the subject has been focused on major urban areas, such as, Silicon Valley, Boston, Washington DC and Boulder Colorado (Feldman, 2014) and more recently Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Richmond (Harper-Anderson, 2018)..  Study has focused on the attributes of entrepreneurial ecosystems, with a focus on the various components, how they interact and what aspects enable growth and development (Pitelis, 2012).  Most studies in the subject look historically at the process through which an ecosystem has become established within a particular locality or focuses on conceptual arguments (Feldman, 2014).  Current thinking has been criticized for focusing on predominantly successful ecosystems in major urban environments, for listing attributes without much consideration of causality or for neglecting the temporal nature and phases through which ecosystems might develop (Roundy, 2016).  There are also disagreements in the literature over the exact role of certain attributes, some for example – show that universities are critically important while others are less conclusive.  The role of public policy in supporting and creating entrepreneurial ecosystems is likewise unclear (Feld, 2012).
    The purpose of the special issue is to consider a number of key areas in this stream of research and specifically to investigate the public policy implications of the subject.  First, the special issue welcomes studies that explore entrepreneurial ecosystems in a general sense and we are specifically inviting authors to explore the public policy aspects of entrepreneurial ecosystems.  Aspects of public policy that could be of interest might include, but are not limited to: business support policies; public or government venture finance; makerspaces, incubation, and acceleration programs; government actions such as zoning, licensing, regulation and taxation on ecosystem formation and development; the role of immigration and/or migration; and, programs designed to support venture creation, small business survival and venture growth.  Second, we are particularly interested in receiving submissions that explore entrepreneurial ecosystems in less obvious localities.  In particular, we are interested in rural locations, smaller cities and university towns.  The purpose of our focus to offset the overwhelming focus of research on urban locations that have established ecosystems.  We are also interested in ecosystems that may perhaps be in a different stage of development and may not be established (e.g. starting out, becoming established and/or beginning to fail, may all be interesting contexts). Finally, the special issue is interested in the educational and learning aspects of entrepreneurial ecosystems. For example, what exact role do universities play?  Do educational programs support the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems and how?  To what extent does an entrepreneurial ecosystem encourage different forms of learning and how important is this in the success of the ecosystem?

This journal issue welcomes article submissions on any topics related to the public policy and entrepreneurial ecosystems. Papers that address the following topics are particularly encouraged:
•    Case studies of entrepreneurial ecosystems in non-obvious localities, in particular rural locations and smaller communities
•    Studies that analyze empirically the impact of certain forms of public policy on the viability of an ecosystem
•    Articles that take a more temporal perspective and/or consider entrepreneurial ecosystems at different stages of development
•    Conceptual studies that consider public policy innovations and how they might improve the capacity of localities to build and maintain viable ecosystems
•    Studies that explore the role of the university within an entrepreneurial ecosystem
•    Pedagogic and program reviews that examine specific programs and how they help build entrepreneurial ecosystems

Submission Guidelines:
  Manuscripts must be original, unpublished works not currently under review for publication at another outlet and are expected to follow the standard formatting guidelines for the journal. Submission must be made online at:  Submissions should be prepared according to the Manuscript Guidelines found at

When submitting your manuscript, please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page four of the submission process.  This special issue is aligned with USASBE 2019 and authors will be expected to attend a special issue pre-conference workshop on Thursday January 24th January to present initial drafts of papers.  The following process will be followed:
•    October 31st 2018 submission of manuscript
•    October 31st to November 9th bench rejection process
•    November 9th 2018 confirmation of presentation at USASBE 2019
•    January 24th 2019 presentation at pre-conference workshop at USASBE 2019
•    January 31st 2019 1st stage of peer review process begins
•    March 29th 2019 peer reviews returned to authors
•    May 31st 2019 2nd submission of papers
•    May 31st to June 29th 2019 final reviews and editorial review
•    July 12th 2019 – final version of special issue submitted to journal 

The submission deadline for this special issue is October 31st 2018 submission of manuscript

Initial queries can be directed towards the guest editors at the following email address: [email protected] and [email protected]

Guest Editors:
G. Jason Jolley: G. Jason Jolley is an Associate Professor of Rural Economic Development and MPA Director at the George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. At Ohio University, he also serves as a Research Fellow in the Center for Entrepreneurship and directs Ohio University’s portion of the US Economic Development Administration University Center (joint with Bowling Green State University). His applied research portfolio includes serving as principal investigator on a subcontract with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth to support a Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) project with the U.S. Small Business Administration. He also leads the Voinovich School’s portion of the Ohio Economic Development Institute, an Ohio Economic Development Association initiative, in partnership with JobsOhio and Ohio University’s Voinovich School, to provide state-level certification to Ohio economic development practitioners.  Dr. Jolley’s research focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship, and tax policy. Secondary research interests include public-private partnerships, public engagement in decision-making, non-regulatory governance, and corporate social responsibility.

Luke Pittaway: Dr. Luke Pittaway is the Copeland Professor of Entrepreneurship and Chair of the Management Department at Ohio University (Athens, OH). Prior to becoming chair, he served as Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and held a senior leadership role within the Department of Management including scheduling, junior faculty mentoring and area coordination for entrepreneurship programs and new program development. He was formerly the William A. Freeman Distinguished Chair in Free Enterprise and the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership at Georgia Southern University where he managed programs in entrepreneurship until May 2013. Dr. Pittaway has previously worked at the University of Sheffield (UK), Lancaster University (UK) and the University of Surrey (UK). He has been a Research and Education Fellow with the National Council of Graduate Entrepreneurship and an Advanced Institute of Management Research Scholar. He is on a number of editorial boards including: International Small Business Journal and International Journal of Management Reviews.  Dr. Pittaway’s research focuses on entrepreneurship education and learning and he has a range of other interests including: entrepreneurial behavior; networking; entrepreneurial failure; business growth; and, corporate venturing.  He was awarded USASBE’s 2018 Entrepreneurship Educator of the Year Award for his scholarship and contribution to the development of the subject.

Feld, B. (2012). Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
Feldman, M. P. (2014). The Character of Innovative Places: Entrepreneurial Strategy, Economic Development, and Prosperity.  Small Business Economics, 43(1): 9-20.
Feldman, M. P., Francis, J. and Bercovitz, J. (2005). Creating a Cluster While Building a Firm: Entrepreneurs and the Formation of Industrial Clusters. Regional Studies, 39(1): 129-141.
Harper-Anderson, E. (2018). Intersections of Partnership and Leadership in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Comparing Three US Regions. Economic Development Quarterly, 0891242418763727.
Pitelis, C. (2012). Clusters, Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Co-creation, and Appropriability: A Conceptual Framework. Industrial and Corporate Change, 21(6): 1359-1388.
Spigel, B. (2015). The Relational Organization of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(1): 49-72.
Roundy, P. T. (2016). Start-up Community Narratives: The Discursive Construction of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. The Journal of Entrepreneurship, 25(2): 232-248.
World Economic Forum (2013). Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Around the Globe and Company Growth Dynamics. Report Summary for the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2013,…