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About this book

Entrepreneurial ecosystems involve a complex synergy of factors, including social and structural changes that are frequently cumulative within territories, promoting the improvement of citizens’ quality of life and higher development levels. Further, dynamic territories are characterized by constant change, activity and progress. Each chapter in this volume examines a specific entrepreneurial ecosystem in an effort to describe why and how certain companies and organizations manage to overcome adversities and achieve strong performance, while others fail. Unlike the conventional focus, the volume examines microenterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), while also discussing selected experiences and case studies from developed and developing countries alike.

Table of Contents



In this book, specific entrepreneurial ecosystems are presented and considered as potential tools for successful firm strategies at the same time that they serve for developing the territory. Successful experiences of entrepreneurship, regional development and structural change in different developed and developing countries such as Portugal, Poland, India, Cabo Verde or East Asian Countries, seek to describe why and how certain companies overcome adversities and achieve good performance while others fail. Experiences and cases studies are focused on microenterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as good examples of the productive system around the world.
Luísa Cagica Carvalho, Conceição Rego, M. Raquel Lucas, M. Isabel Sánchez-Hernández, Adriana Backx Noronha

Entrepreneurship, Regional Development and Structural Change


Regional Development Using Agglomeration Economic Model: Industrial Development—A Spanish Case

The regional development of the rural and semi-urban territories in the south of Europe presents serious difficulties that limit their capacity to generate enough welfare to attract and even less to retain population. The EU Common Agriculture Programs are focused on retaining population, with a soft approach to a service economy. Regional development policies for rural areas should not be a continuation of agriculture policies because the issues involved are different. Agglomeration economy, particularly in Industrial Districts, when focused on the circumstances of the rural, semi-rural and semi-urban territories, provide the right policy tool to generate the desired development and create the opportunities for growth encompassing the initiatives for innovation and entrepreneurship. To study the level of actual development and the capacity for industrial agglomeration in rural regions, an exploratory action was carried out in the territory of Valladolid, Spanish Autonomous Region of Castilla y Leon, from the end of 2011 during one year. The results are exposed in this document.
Jesus Frank Calzadilla

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development: Study of Academic Publications in Scientific Journals

At present, entrepreneurship and innovation are two basic pillars for regional development, so the entities involved in this development focus their efforts on enhancing the population’s capacities, taking into account, on the one hand, the resources available and on the other hand, local needs, which leads to public policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurial skills within the population. This research focuses on identifying and analysing scientific production that deals with the subject of Entrepreneurship and Regional Development. The methodology used is the bibliometric analysis that enables to observe the evolution in the generation of knowledge in this thematic area, to identify the authors or research teams that work on it, to identify the knowledge, as well as the lines of research or approaches followed by research and the media, through which the results are disseminated. All this information will enable to evaluate the maturity level of research in this area. The search for the bibliographic material was done in the international database Scopus, in which 125 articles were identified. The results show that researchers’ interest in this subject is very recent and there are many approaches and lines of research that have yet to be explored, in order to deepen and understand this phenomenon.
José Álvarez-García, Claudia Patricia Maldonado-Erazo, María de la Cruz del Río-Rama, Paúl Oswaldo Sarango-Lalangui

The Role of Country Reputation in Positioning Territories: A Literature Review

In this study we review the concept of a country’s reputation (CoR), which still requires a thorough conceptual development. The relevance of this intangible asset for countries justifies the need to clarify the CoR concept as a preliminary and necessary step to start its management by governments. We carried out a literature review with the aim of examining what it is, its advantages and disadvantages, how it is measured, and what the fundamental guidelines would be for its management through the development of a theoretical model. These two last aspects especially caught our interest due to the relationship between management and measurement, which has led us to review the most important rankings used today for CoR and to add the similarities found among them into the proposed model due to the key role of a good positioning in these rankings for obtaining different reputational advantages.
F. Castilla-Polo

The Contribution of Resource Centres in Entrepreneurship for Structural Changes in Developed Countries

In this text the authors present the contribution to change the situation of women living in the Central region of the Alentejo and in Beira Interior Sul (Portugal), regarding their qualification for the job market, enabled by the Female Entrepreneurship Resource Centre, established in the framework of the project Winnet 8 (Women’s Resource Centres, Promoting Innovation in Gender Equality across Europe), which was held in eight EU countries between 2010 and 2011. For this purpose, through a literature review briefly the authors describe the project and the context in which it arose, present and discuss the results achieved, and the critical success factors that must be observed so that such an initiative can succeed, leaving the suggestion for future research lines, that allow better meet the theme addressed.
Maria da Saudade Baltazar, Marcos Santos

Entrepreneurship in Family Firms in Developed and Developing Countries

Entrepreneurship is a major force for the economies around the world. Thus, it is a useful concept that leads to companies on how to participate in the change and in the renewal processes in order to maintain and improve their competitiveness (Cruz and Nordqvist, Entrepreneurial orientation in family firms: A generational perspective. Small Bus Econ 38(1):33–49, 2012). This book chapter examines the effects, among others, of innovation, institutional behavior on regional development, synthesizing new research from entrepreneurship and regional science disciplines, emphasizing the successful experiences and lessons from developed and developing countries. Therefore, we aim to provide a general perspective on entrepreneurial orientation in family firms both in developed and developing countries. This work pretends to cover the existing gap in the current research on entrepreneurship in developing countries, in line with Ratten (Future research directions for collective entrepreneurship in developing countries: A small and medium-sized enterprise perspective. Int J Entrep Small Bus 22(2):266–274, 2014) who highlight the need for more research on entrepreneurship in developing countries.
Ramón Sanguino, Ascensión Barroso, Saikat Gochhait

Strategic Drivers in Crisis Environment

The environment in which companies operate is subject to variations, some of them caused by the natural movement of competitors and others arising from environmental turbulence, which ultimately affect performance and determine how companies should adjust. This research seeks to answer the question why certain companies can overcome adversities and achieve good performance while others fail. The main objective was to identify which performance drivers were used to achieve good performance. The drivers selected from the consulted literature were tested in a multiple case study in 16 companies located in the Brazilian Northeast. The analysis of the responses of the main managers showed that pressures from the market, the legislation and the competitors are captured through the network of relationships and disseminated internally in order to generate adjustment through innovations, technologies and diversification, raising perceived quality and reaching Operational success.
João Conrado de Amorim Carvalho, Pedro Eugénio Lopez Salazar

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Strategy


Differences in Gender: Does It Exist in Bumiputra Entrepreneurs?

In recent decades, despite the acceleration of women participation and improvement in the economic, social, and political sphere which has heralded a new close-up to gender equality, yet the world scenario still leaves women at a less favourable position. Similarly, literature has indicated the weakness of female-owned enterprises in terms of performance and sustenance. Hence, this study intended to identify if there exists any statistically significant difference in Bumiputras’ entrepreneurial persistence by gender. Therefore, data from micro entrepreneurs in Terengganu was collected. Eventually, an independent t-test result revealed that no statistically significant difference in entrepreneurial persistence between male and female Bumiputras is found. Therefore, this finding asserted that Malaysia acknowledged as one of the fastest developing economies was determined in strengthening women entrepreneurship development. Equally, with a staggering number of the female population which is almost same as the male, Malaysia is tending towards a balanced society where females are allowed significant roles in the society.
Ibrahim Tijjani Sabiu, Abdulaziz Abdullah

Strategic Determinants of SME Export Performance: The Mediating Effect of Competitive Strategy

How to manage firms’ resources and capabilities to sustain competitive advantages remains an intriguing research inquiry of strategic management science. With its focus on the context of small firm internationalisation, this study assesses the important contribution of strategic determinants that influence export performance, considering the mediating effect of competitive strategy.
Based on survey data from Portuguese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) findings suggest that entrepreneurial orientation has a positive and significant influence on differentiation and export performance. Moreover, the results also highlight the role of intangible resources in the design of both differentiation and cost leadership strategies, which drives export performance. Finally, absorptive capacity is highly related with differentiation and export performance.
This study deepens our understanding and provides novel insights into entrepreneurship and strategic management literature, since it combines multiple factors and has obtained the importance of each construct in SMEs competitive strategies and business growth. Moreover, this research presents further evidences of the strategies that small firm managers should pursue and policy makers should promote.
Alexandra França, Orlando Lima Rua

Lifestyle Entrepreneurs: The Case of Rural Tourism

Tourism is considered a potential tool for developing rural territories which are increasingly affected by loss of economic opportunities and, consequently, some social problems such as depopulation and population ageing. Rural tourism lifestyle entrepreneurs are tourism business owners actively seeking a different lifestyle in rural territories.
This chapter presents a discussion of the role and contributions of lifestyle entrepreneurs in rural tourism to the development of the respective territories and the impact of the entrepreneurial activity provoked by this particular type of business owners. A systematic literature review was complemented by the results of a case study carried out in the Alto Alentejo, a rural region in the southern inner part of Portugal. The results considered here were part of a broader qualitative in-depth research.
The impacts of entrepreneurial activity may be found, among other aspects, in the maintenance of links with the land and property, the preservation of traditional food and job creation for entrepreneurs and their families and the creation of ‘social capital’ essential to the sustainability especially of small and rural communities.
Conceição Cunha, Elisabeth Kastenholz, Maria João Carneiro

Towards a New Economy in Rural Areas

Long-term rural competitiveness and sustainability have increasingly less to do with cost-efficiency along the traditional agriculture filière and more to do with the ability of firms and institutions to innovate in terms of its portfolio of goods and services, namely the way rural territories build up their competitive advantages on the basis of their heritage.
The book chapter discusses the necessity to promote development characteristics based on the identity of the different spaces, their history, their material and immaterial resources. This redesign on rural policies should necessarily aim with engaging with the right targets, namely the institutionalized inertia which characterizes many rural regions, trying to stimulate the whole milieu. This new approach can be seen as an instrument of establishing a learning framework for all partners involved on the construction of a collective socio-economic trajectory.
Territories marked by rurality need to reinvent their economies and broaden their economic menu, making the rural world more and better available to the market, at local, national and global levels.
Domingos Santos

Individuals, Organizations and Strategic Entrepreneurship: Example of Public Stakeholder Contribution for the Regional Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Strategic entrepreneurship is a polysemic concept that serves multiple purposes. This text approaches an entrepreneurship training programme in Portugal that was developed as a strategy to combat unemployment. It reports the experience of Provi@, a winning project in the Portuguese European Enterprise Promotion Awards—EEPA [2nd national prize in the category of “Investment in Entrepreneurial Skills” of the “European Enterprise Promotion Awards”, promoted by the European Commission—DG GROW (General Directorate for the Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs)] as an innovative and differentiating programme promoted by a public employment service that has implemented a successful regional response to deal with unemployment and to promote the local economy through capacity building for impact entrepreneurship.
The differentiation of the programme is highlighted in terms of design and development (social and economic framework, human resources and curriculum development), implementation and evaluation (operational management, training modes, outputs and Outcomes), identifying the main conclusions and proposals resulting from learning and some important guidelines for the development of future intervention programmes.
Eduardo Marques, Luis Guerrinha

Entrepreneurial Experiences


Microcredit: Role of Entrepreneurial Ventures in Development of Cabo Verde

Microcredit provides small loans to the most deprived populations for whom credit is difficult to obtain from the traditional banking system. These microcredits have no collateral backing and work on the basis of a small group-based borrowing mechanism. The funds are often used for financing productive and educational purposes related to entrepreneurial activities and self-employment. For this reason, microcredit is pointed out as a valuable tool in the economic, social and cultural development of poor countries.
The study analysed the application of the microcredit programs in Cabo Verde and their implications for poverty reduction, income generation, self-employment and equality of gender promotion. The results showed that microcredit is an important financial instrument for poverty alleviation and the improvement of family income in Cabo Verde. The majority of the projects were based on women initiatives and oriented to the creation of micro and small businesses that provide self-employment and jobs for poor people, allowing families to have access to income sources that otherwise they would not have. The revenues generated gave individuals the opportunities to acquire goods and services that improve their quality of life and wellbeing. This is particularly important in Cabo Verde since the welfare state is practically non-existent there.
Susana Bernardino, J. Freitas Santos, Zidyane Vicente

Network Cooperation of Enterprises in Conditions of Polish Developing Economy: Case Study

Network co-operation of the enterprises and the structural changes in their functioning determine the development of entrepreneurship in Poland. This cooperation, at the regional level, often takes the form of clusters, whose presence in Polish economy is not only indicative of the level of its development but, above all, of the potential of Polish regions and their development prospects. An example of effective corporate networking is the “Aviation Valley” cluster, which is a case study in this chapter. It has led to the rapid development of the region, increased employment, improved living conditions for the population and thus significantly affected the dynamics of economic development in the country.
A. Barcik, P. Dziwiński

Business Incubators, Tenant Firms and New Companies: Evidence from Portugal

Business incubators (BIs) are important entities in the entrepreneurial ecosystem and, as such, can make a significant contribution to regional development. The aim of this exploratory work is to describe the business incubation activity in Portugal and thus fill the current gap in the literature. Due to the limited data and few institutional sources, we adopt a methodology driven by the challenge of identifying the situation of BIs and new firms within the entrepreneurial setting in Portugal. The study, using data gathered in 2015, reveals the asymmetrical distribution of BIs across Portuguese districts and the mismatch between the number of BIs and the number of new firms. Policy makers can use the district patterns of business incubation activity identified in this research to develop an integrated BI network that addresses the business particularities of Portuguese districts. This framework can lead to new lines of research. These include the study of the wide range of services provided by BIs to tenant firms in Portugal, the analysis of factors influencing the spatial distribution of Portuguese BIs, and the comparative analysis of the performance of specialized and non-specialized BIs in the Portuguese territory.
Gonçalo Rodrigues Brás, Miguel Torres Preto

The Small Scale Industrial Policy in India and Performance of Unorganised Manufacturing: A Comparative Analysis with East Asian Countries

This chapter attempts to understand the key factors that explain the growth of a competitive and dynamic informal industrial sector in the major East Asian countries by looking at the historical developmental context as well as the industrial policy adopted by these countries. The chapter also compares the characteristics of the informal industries in India with that of the East Asian countries to conclude that the contrasting nature of the informal industrial units of these two sets of countries is essentially embedded in the differences in labour market regulation, approaches to financial market liberalization and the overall strategy of industrialization. The concluding observations and reflections stresses upon the crucial role of the state in formulating an industrialization strategy in consonance with the factor abundance of the country, in the absence of which targeted intervention to protect or promote the small scale industrial sector may produce counterproductive results, as we see in the case of India.
Shromona Ganguly

Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies: A Microenterprise Case

Disadvantages of emerging economies include high poverty, a lack of industrialisation, a shortage in digital training, as well as an economic and financial dependency on foreign sources. Such deficiencies influence the future of genuine entrepreneurs. Despite these limitations, and in comparison to the developed countries, these economies are the world’s economy-engine. Thus, this research focuses on the analysis of the entrepreneur’s spirit and the qualitative indicators that influence their current situation, which include a: (a) stable microenterprise, (b) growing microenterprise and (c) critical or decayed microenterprise. This research involved a non-experimental with a descriptive, correlative and regressive study. Surveys were conducted from September 2016 to January 2017, interviewing owners and/or partners of 80 different microenterprises in Celaya, Guanajuato. The aim of the results was to seek and contribute knowledge to the microentrepreneur and government, so that they may understand the qualitative aspects that influence all current situations of a microentrepreneur. Additionally, the results serve as a source for further support of this vulnerable yet essential sector within the Mexican business environment. In general, this paper shows that even with the country’s insecure and uncertain conditions, more than half of the interviewed microenterprises find their business in a stable situation and one third of the surveyed are in growth.
Martha Ríos-Manríquez, María Dolores Sánchez-Fernández, Elisa Isabel Cano Montero
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