This paper presents the findings of recent empirical-based research into the experiences of entrepreneurs and intermediaries engaged in cluster building activities in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector in Northwest England. The research takes a dual perspective by interviewing both entrepreneurs and intermediaries from a range of agencies and Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Previous work with high-tech firms has shown that it is through social relations, interactions and networks that entrepreneurship is carried out (Anderson et al. 2007). Our empirical study is based on 14 semi-structured interviews that recorded the interactions and experiences of actors actively involved in building regional clusters. Key findings can be divided into three main themes, namely: i) motivations for organizing / attending regional networking meetings; ii) outcomes of these meetings; iii) the role of sector-specific cluster meetings in supporting networking and entrepreneurship. The use of cluster building activities as a means of supporting regional economic development is widespread. The study demonstrates how cluster building activities can act as a mechanism for supporting regional economic development, but highlights the need for both entrepreneurs and intermediaries to more clearly understand each others' differing motivations and expectations, as well as the multiple reasons for participating in cluster building activities.
|Place of Publication||Lancaster|
|Number of pages||28|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
|Name||Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development Working Paper Series|
|Publisher||Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development|
- regional clusters
- regional development