Emerging Issues in Digital Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities



In the last decade, the use of digital and cutting-edge technology to promote entrepreneurial opportunities has grown, providing a strong platform for digitally enabled entrepreneurship (Dong, 2019; Nambisan, 2017; Upadhyay et al., 2021). These technologies are advancing the progress of entrepreneurship by redefining and reshaping business and strategy (Cavallo, Ghezzi, Dell'Era, & Pellizzoni, 2019) and are key factors in enabling competitiveness (Schiuma et al., 2021) and the ability of entrepreneurs to navigate turbulent and uncertain environments (Troise et al., 2022). This Special Issue aim to explore how digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence and High-Performance Computing, are influencing and up-scaling entrepreneurship. Our goals for this Special Issue on Digital Entrepreneurship are to: 1) explore the theoretical and practical significance of digital and cutting-edge technology adoption; 2) consider emerging theories and models and 3) explore the implications of new technologies in the entrepreneurial process.

This call echoes emerging issues, for example uncertainties of new digital technologies in entrepreneurial processes, challenges of implementation and opportunities (Dwivedi et al., 2021; Nambisan, 2017; Upadhyay et al., 2021). Specifically in a present-day digital context, one contributing success factor of any business is related to the adoption of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies such as digital business. Arguably, firms rely heavily on their own knowledge (know-how), resources (know-what) and capabilities (know-who), with the tendency to gain competitive edge and attaining high-growth (Oyemomi, Liu, Neaga, & Alkhuraiji, 2016). However, constant advancements in digital technologies (know-why) such responsible AI triggers more issues for entrepreneurial processes. Therefore, the adoption of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies is one of the most significant strategies in progressing digital entrepreneurship, a process whereby firms such as Small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) create new opportunities, innovative strategies, and digital solutions (Kraus, Palmer, Kailer, Kallinger, & Spitzer, 2018; Modgil, Dwivedi, Rana, Gupta, & Kamble, 2022; Sahut, Iandoli, & Teulon, 2021). The new contribution of this Special Issue is to address the knowledge gaps of limited research on current and emerging issues, challenges, and opportunities of digital and cutting-edge technologies to firms such as SMEs in digital entrepreneurship.  

Digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies have become essentially important in digital entrepreneurship with dynamic technologies and platforms, driven by the emergence of digital solutions, such as additive manufacturing, blockchain, robotics, cloud computing, and big data analytics (Olan, Liu, Suklan, Jayawickrama, & Arakpogun, 2021). New digital and cutting-edge technologies provide new contexts, challenges, and opportunities, making existing innovation obsolete thereby leading to uncertainty and possibly leading to firms upgrading existing technology, this further increasing firms’ cost (Dwivedi et al., 2021; Kraus et al., 2018; Nambisan, 2017). The rapid upgrade to new technologies means that the entrepreneurial processes, structure, and operations of existing working technology in the organisation require alignment and update. As technology adoption occurs over the different stages of entrepreneurship (Cunningham et al., 2022), digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies need to consist of multi-layered solutions providing centralised technological supports for firms and decision-making processes (Beliaeva, Ferasso, Kraus, & Damke, 2020; Ngoasong, 2018; Secundo, Rippa, & Meoli, 2020). Consequently, firms are strategically implementing digital entrepreneurship solutions on a global scale, thus making firms to invest in technological infrastructures (Dong, 2019; Steininger, 2019). However, emerging issues in the adoption of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies include business complexity and interconnections, increasing the requirement for employee’s skill sets, adaptable business processes and procedures.

The potential opportunities of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies outweigh the challenges. Although some of the aforementioned opportunities may also lead to decisions that shift firms’ strategic competition from traditional rivalry to a technology driven rivalry, providing firms with a new opportunity in investing in sustainable competitive (Dwivedi et al., 2021). Nevertheless, new emerging innovations such as AI and HPC are either opportunities or threats to firms, the steps of implementing new digital and cutting-edge technologies with entrepreneurial processes include changing how labour works, moving some parts of the business processes from traditional to digitalised processes at the same time considering their organisational structure, practices, and policies (Jawad, Naz, & Maroof, 2021; Nambisan, 2017). For instance, the impact of COVID-19 has changed the way firms operate, making the need to cultivate and capitalise on digital knowledge, skills, and capabilities to make sense of and compete in the new digital landscape. Furthermore, firms are now able to fully exploit the benefits of implementing AI technologies in strategies and decision-making.  

This Special Issue will contribute to the exploration of new knowledge on the implementation of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies and digital entrepreneurship gradually changing from the traditional to digital entrepreneurial processes and adding to existing literature that categorises digital technologies and entrepreneurship. Also, the Special Issue will focus on the managerial implication of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies driven entrepreneurial engagements on emerging issues, challenges, and opportunities addressing the following topics (indicative):

  • Technological advancements concepts, tools, and techniques for digital entrepreneurship
  • Challenges and opportunities (methodological and practical) in digital entrepreneurship
  • Ethical implications around digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies
  • Digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies decision making in entrepreneurial contexts
  • Innovation for entrepreneurial activities
  • Decision-making and forecasting for entrepreneurial activities through AI approaches
  • Digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies in emergent situations and risk management
  • Emerging/cutting-edge technologies to address entrepreneurial challenges during crises
  • Digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies for entrepreneurial sustainability
  • How do new technological environments triggered by platforms affect entrepreneurial processes
  • Role and effects of digital and emerging/cutting-edge technologies on entrepreneurial behaviours

Submission Process and Deadlines

Publication of this special issue is planned for 2023.

The submission window opens May 2nd 2022 and closes October 25th 2022.

Submissions should be prepared using the IJEBR Manuscript Preparation Guidelines (https://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/journal/ijebr#author-guidelines).

Manuscripts should be submitted through the IJEBR online system (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijebr).

Papers will be reviewed according to the IJEBR double-blind review process.

Informal enquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives are welcomed. For any questions, please send an e-mail to [email protected].

Key Dates

  • Full paper submissions deadline: 25 Oct 2022
  • Notification of 1st round reviews: 15 Dec 2022
  • Revised manuscript due: 25 Feb 2023
  • Notification of 2nd round reviews: 25 Mar 2023
  • Final version due: 25 May 2023

Guest Editors

Femi Olan, Northumbria University ([email protected])

Ciro Troise, University of Turin ([email protected])

Nadja Damij, Northumbria University ([email protected])

Robert Newbery, Northumbria University ([email protected])


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