Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Born Global Start-ups
Velt, Hannes (2020-12-11)
Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT
Acta Universitatis Lappeenrantaensis
School of Business and Management
School of Business and Management, Kauppatieteet
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This doctoral dissertation introduces the entrepreneurial ecosystem phenomenon to international entrepreneurship research to address its fragmentation. The main focus is systemic elements of entrepreneurial ecosystems and their conditioning to support entrepreneurial activities in local contexts. Specifically, I explore the interrelations and dynamics of ecosystem elements and their influence on born global (BG) start-ups, addressing a major gap in previous literature, and examine these start-ups in their preliminary lifecycle stages of development when internationalisation commences. I also scrutinise entrepreneurial ecosystem research, perform a comprehensive bibliometric investigation into the state of the art of this trending topic and present its main thematic streams to establish its connection to international entrepreneurship and the BG concept. My theoretical framework combines and updates systemic elements from previous studies relevant to new venture progress and allows a critical assessment of their critical influence on the discovery/stand-up and validation/start-up stages in two-country and transnational contexts. Further, I evaluate which elements can be considered nation-level strengths and weaknesses, which are perceived as less relevant and how they actually perform. Moreover, in introducing BG organisational and international characteristics, discrepancies in how BG start-ups apprehend their surrounding environment are revealed. These analytical steps collectively contribute to existing theoretical knowledge on how entrepreneurial ecosystems foster BG start-ups in their preliminary stages towards international growth and new value creation for global communities. The findings also point to new future research avenues and are relevant to practitioners as a founder’s roadmap to enhance their awareness of their immediate ecosystem, its dynamic mechanisms and how it enables successfully launching and growing their start-ups. Similarly, for policymakers and other stakeholders, the findings pinpoint hindering effects of these structural conditions, which new policies should address. This is vital to enable and enhance productive entrepreneurship and generate vivacious atmospheres that promote BG types of new venture development.
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