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.
- entrepreneurial ecosystems
- public policy