Entrepreneurial ecosystems and public policy in action: a critique of the latest industrial policy blockbuster

Ross Brown, Suzanne Mawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Efforts to develop entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) have proliferated in recent years, marking it out as the latest industrial policy 'blockbuster'. This paper reports the findings from the first comprehensive empirical analysis of EE policy approaches. The paper the posits a basic typology of different policy frameworks deployed under the ecosystem rubric. The findings suggest the concept is fraught with conceptual ambiguity and is predominantly (and rather crudely) used to promote ‘more’ entrepreneurship. The research suggests the concept is a “messy metaphor” open to wide-ranging misinterpretation and misuse by policy makers. In terms of recommendations, eradicating network failures, avoiding crude policy isomorphism and tailoring bespoke interventions to the specific nature of EEs are viewed as key policy lessons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347–368
Number of pages22
JournalCambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2019


  • entrepreneurship
  • entrepreneurial ecosystems
  • metaphors
  • public policy

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