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Just published: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Regional Policy: A Sympathetic Critique

Erik Stam
Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance, Utrecht University School of Economics, Utrecht, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT Regional policies for entrepreneurship are currently going through a transition from increasing the quantity of entrepreneurship to increasing the quality of entrepreneurship. The next step will be the transition from entrepreneurship policy towards policy for an entrepreneurial economy. The entrepreneurial ecosystem approach has been heralded as a new framework accommodating these transitions. This approach starts with the entrepreneurial actor, but emphasizes the context of productive entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is not only the output of the system, entrepreneurs are important players themselves in creating the ecosystem and keeping it healthy. This research briefing reviews the entrepreneurial ecosystem literature and its shortcomings, and provides a novel synthesis. The entrepreneurial ecosystem approach speaks directly to practitioners, but its causal depth and evidence base is rather limited. This article provides a novel synthesis including a causal scheme of how the framework and systemic conditions of the ecosystem lead to particular entrepreneurial activities as output of the ecosystem and new value creation as outcome of the ecosystem. In addition it provides a framework for analysing the interactions between the elements within the ecosystem. This offers a much more rigorous and relevant starting point for subsequent studies into entrepreneurial ecosystems and the regional policy implications of these.

Keywords: entrepreneurial ecosystems; entrepreneurship; regional policy; economic policy

Read the full article in European Planning Studies

DARE update: new website, call for papers and extending the network

DARE update


On the verge of, undoubtedly, a well-earned summer break we would like to inform you on the latest developments within the Dutch Academy of Research in Entrepreneurship (DARE). This year, we witnessed much dynamic and enthusiasm within the DARE community. As a result numerous initiatives were started, on which we would like to inform you.

New DARE website, powered by DutchCE

DARE now has a new website and a new partner: Dutch Centers for Entrepreneurship (DutchCE). The new website can be found on and provides the latest information on papers, events and other news from the Dutch entrepreneurship research community. Please stay informed by visiting the website and by following our new twitteraccount @DareResearch. Special thanks go out to Hein Roelfsema from DutchCE for making the website available and who will also help with providing content and support for DARE initiatives in the future. You will be hearing a lot more from him.

“Topondernemersregeling”-event July 2nd with ECE and DutchCE

On July 2nd DARE co-organized an event at the ECE Campus in Rotterdam on the so-called “Topondernemersregeling”. This policy instrument can be implemented by (higher) education intitutes to better facilitate high potential, ambitious student entrepreneurs, who otherwise would face trouble with their curriculum. In that sense, it is analogue to the arrangement for professional athletes known as the “topsportregeling”. One important finding was that only very few students qualify as a ‘topondernemer’, but that there were good opportunities to provide tailored support for these high potentials. Contingencies of the arrangement were deemed valuable, e.g. the intragroup learning effects were substantial and it was also worthwhile to monitor high potentials in an early stage.

Call for papers for the 8th DARE seminar in Utrecht

The upcoming DARE seminar, on 5 November 2015 at Utrecht University, aims to discuss the current state of research in the Netherlands on entrepreneurship education, technology transfer and knowledge valorisation. With this we aim to contribute to the knowledge triangle between education, research and entrepreneurship. DARE invites researchers and practitioners to submit papers related to these topics before 1 October 2015. For more information please visit or contact us by email:

Extending the DARE network

The DARE seminar last May in Maastricht suggested greater involvement of the professorships on entrepreneurship at the Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences. This coincided with the founding of a joint collaboration/meeting of these professorships (Lectorenoverleg ondernemerschap). DARE is delighted by this enthusiasm and involvement and facilitates this by welcoming the professorships as DARE-fellows. In our philosophy this helps to invoke more joint efforts, like: joint proposals (e.g. RAAK/NWO grants), joint data collection (e.g. GUESSS; Alumni monitors), joint research agendas. More information will follow on the DARE website.

Enjoy the summer break!

We thank everyone within DARE for their involvement and please let us know if there is anything interesting for the members that we can share on the website or mail. Also suggestions, research outcomes and initiatives are highly welcomed. Keep up the good work and enjoy a well-deserved summer break!

Warmest regards from DARE,

Nardo de Vries (Secretary),
Roy Thurik (Chair),
Hein Roelfsema (DutchCE).

 Logo-Dare-Website  DutchCE


ECE meetup topondernemersregeling 2 juli 15Entrepreneurship among students is on the rise and more and more ambitious student entrepreneurs are discovering that successfully combining studies and running a business can prove challenging. Student entrepreneurs either spend less time on their startup or study resultingin dropouts or bankruptcy. While Steve Jobs (Apple), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), and Dutch Pieter Zwart (Coolblue) have been highly successful despite dropping out of college, this will not be the reality for many student entrepreneurs. This begs the question: how can we help ambitious student-entrepreneurs to successfully combine academics and runninga business?

On July 2nd, on behalf of the Dutch Centres for Entrepreneurship (Dutch CE) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, as well as The Dutch Academy for Research in Entrepreneurship (DARE) and Startup Delta, the ECE hosted a meetup with more than 30 educators, specialists, and leaders in the field of entrepreneurship education to talk about specialty support programmes for student entrepreneurs – the so called ‘topondernemersregeling – and best practices in the creation of an ecosystem which promotes entrepreneurial talent.

While all of the programmes experienced their own challenges in creation and implementation, the successes seen in the three cases presented at the meetup only further strengthen the need for support for students in the completion of their studies and growth of their startup.

For a full impression and report, please click:


DARE Seminar November 5: Call For Papers


Establishing the Knowledge Triangle between Education, Research and Entrepreneurship.

DARE seminar at Utrecht University on November 5, 2015

There is broad consensus that entrepreneurship enhances an innovative culture in higher education, which in turn results in higher competitiveness. As a result, significant government funding has been allocated to the promotion and development of entrepreneurship in knowledge institutes. However, much of this investment is founded on anecdotal evidence on the causal connection between stimulating entrepreneurship and the impact this has on society. To strengthen the knowledge base, the upcoming DARE seminar aims to discuss the current state of research in the Netherlands on entrepreneurship education, technology transfer and knowledge valorisation. With this we aim to contribute to the knowledge triangle between education, research and entrepreneurship.

Call for Papers

We invite researchers and practitioners to submit papers. Both theoretical and empirical papers are welcomed. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Theoretical development of entrepreneurship education and the proposed and actual relationship between entrepreneurship education and economic development including: employability, new venture creation, and competitiveness.
  • Evaluating the impact and role of government and industry policies in promoting entrepreneurship.
  • Methodological issues in research on entrepreneurship education and on the impact of knowledge valorisation, the availability and assessment of new data sources, and innovation in research approaches.
  • Best practices of entrepreneurship education and knowledge valorisation, assessed from various stakeholder perspectives.

The DARE seminar aims to further develop the submitted research and the program allows for only a selection of papers. Please submit manuscripts in a word-compatible format electronically, before 1 October 2015. Papers will be evaluated by the organising committee and acceptance will be notified by email before 15 October. For submissions and questions please contact us at

We are very delighted to receive your high quality work and look forward to an invigorating DARE event.

The organising committee,

Roy Thurik (Chair)
Nardo de Vries (Secretary)
Hein Roelfsema
Erik Stam

The conference is powered by:

 Logo_DCE GEN Partner ecsb1


Have you recently finished your PhD Thesis in entrepreneurship and the small business field and are now wondering what’s coming next? Do you want to learn more about publishing your research? Do you need advice on your latest research proposal or an article you are working on? Do you want to set up (international) research collaborations, and are looking for collaborators? Do you want to give a fillip to your career opting for the PDWW AWARD? Join us at the next RENT post-doctoral writing workshop!

The European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB) is offering a workshop for EARLY CAREER RESEARCHERS, with preference given to those who have finished their PhD within the past 5 years. A paper can be submitted both to the RENT conference and to the workshop; however admission to present a paper at the workshop does not secure its admission to be presented at the conference (ie: a paper in an initial stage of development).

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Conference on success and well-being among entrepreneurs in the Netherlands (PhD defense Josette Dijkhuizen)

On June 25, female entrepreneur and PhD candidate Josette Dijkhuizen, will publicly defend her dissertation, titled: Entrepreneurship, easier said than done…. A study on success and well-being among entrepreneurs in The Netherlands. 

In her dissertation Dijkhuizen investigated how entrepreneurs’ job demands relate to their work-related strain and work engagement, as well as their feelings of subjective success. Among others, her work contributes to the literature firstly by focusing on psychological rather than business outcomes of entrepreneurship, and secondly by contextualizing demands and resources for entrepreneurs, e.g. capturing the general but also the specific factors that are demands and resources in entrepreneurial work.

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A sunny and vigorous DARE seminar May 13 in beautiful Maastricht

DARE seminar May 13: Current topics in entrepreneurship research

The sixth DARE seminar was an exciting event where the Dutch scholarly field in entrepreneurship research was gathered at Maastricht University.  Accompanied by excellent weather and surrounded by the academic ambiance of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) there was a nice and relaxed atmosphere in which a vigorous debate took place on Current topics in Entrepreneurship Research. Four empirical papers were presented, addressing entrepreneurial: finance, well-being, alliances and ambidextrous behavior. Scholars from all over the Dutch network and abroad joined the seminar and participated in the discussions. This DARE event was organized in cooperation with the School of Business and Economics from Maastricht University and the European Council of Small Business (ECSB). The following research was presented and discussed.

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Save the date! DARE Seminar in Maastricht, 13 May 2015

With great pleasure we invite you to the next DARE-seminar on Current topics in entrepreneurship research. The seminar will be held on May 13th 2015 from 11.00-16.00 hrs at the School of Business and Economics at Maastricht University (Tongersestraat 53, Maastricht).

Teaser DARE May 13 2015

We will discuss several papers that cover the state of the art in entrepreneurship research within the DARE community. Lunch will be included and there is an optional City Walk through beautiful Maastricht. N.B.: the next day is Ascension Day for those who want to extend their stay.

The provisional program for the day is as follows:
– Round of introductions and current research topics
– Lecture 1 + discussion
– Lunch
– Lecture 2 + discussion
– Lecture 3 + discussion
– Coffee/tea break
– Lecture 4 + discussion
– City Walk Maastricht (optional: we will pass by Central Station for those who need to leave early)

More details on the program will be sent to you as soon as possible. Members are welcomed to present relevant work. To join this seminar (or if you want to present your work) please send a reply  before May 1st to:

Stay informed via the DARE-website
On behalf of DARE, we hope to welcome you at this exciting next seminar at beautiful Maastricht.

Roy Thurik (Chair) and Nardo de Vries (Secretary)

DARE seminar: Types and Roles of Entrepreneurship

The fifth DARE seminar was organized in Rotterdam and presented two comprehensive overview studies of entrepreneurship research in the Netherlands. One study focused on the different types of entrepreneurship and what role these types play in our economy and society. A second study explained the contribution of SMEs to the economy. This DARE event was organized in cooperation with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE) at the ECE Campus, Rotterdam Science Tower.

Different types of entrepreneurship can be distinguished, each playing a particular roleAndre-Stel-300x170
Within the research framework on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, Panteia carried out an overview study that presents state of the art research findings on types of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is a heterogeneous phenomenon that can have different manifestations in our economy, varying from solo self-employed to employer firms and from women entrepreneurship to green entrepreneurship. Furthermore within these different types of entrepreneurship, various roles can be observed that each contribute to the economy or society in a different way. For example, entrepreneurs can be experimentators or imitators, they can be initators or enablers, each with different final effects for economic growth or societal value. Building on the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (Stam, 2014) the presented study introduces a framework that explains how these different types of entrepreneurship play a contributing role to economy and society.

Some entrepreneurial types were discussed in more detail. For instance, it was argued that solo self-employed play a crucial role in enabling better and more efficient entrepreneurship in larger companies by lowering risks and offering specialized skills and knowledge. Also, green entrepreneurs are different from more “regular” entrepreneurs because they recognize opportunies that are both profitable and sustainable. However they are often more affected by policy implications.

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DARE research seminar on “Types and Roles of Entrepreneurship”, 11 December

It is with great pleasure that we invitate you to the 4th DARE research seminar on Types and Roles of Entrepreneurship. The seminar will be held on December 11th 2014 from 15.00-18.00 hrs at the ECE Campus, in the Rotterdam Science Tower. We will discuss what we know about various types of entrepreneurs (e.g. ambitious entrepreneurship, solo self-employment et cetera) and which roles they play in our economy and society.

The final program for the afternoon and directions to the venue can be clicked. After the seminar we offer the occasion to reminisce about the rich history of the Research Program on SMEs and entrepreneurship. We will toast while enjoying the beautiful view from the Science Tower.

To join this seminar please send a reply before December 2nd via:

On behalf of DARE, I hope to welcome you at the seminar.

Nardo de Vries, Secretary of DARE

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