The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Up, and Growth in the U.S. Knowledge Economy

The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Up, and Growth in the U.S. Knowledge Economy

The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Up, and Growth in the U.S. Knowledge Economy

The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Up, and Growth in the U.S. Knowledge Economy

Synopsis

This volume seeks to catalyze the emergence of a novel field of policy studies: entrepreneurship policy. Practical experience and academic research both point to the central role of entrepreneurs in the process of economic growth and to the importance of public policy in creating the conditions under which entrepreneurial companies can flourish. The contributors, who hail from the disciplines of economics, geography, history, law, management, and political science, seek to crystallize key findings and to stimulate debate about future opportunities for policy-makers and researchers in this area. The chapters include surveys of the economic, social, and cultural contexts for US entrepreneurship policy; assessments of regional efforts to link knowledge producers to new enterprises; explorations of policies that aim to foster entrepreneurship in under-represented communities; detailed analyses of three key industries (biotechnology, e-commerce, and telecommunications); and considerations of challenges in policy implementation.

Excerpt

Entrepreneurship was in vogue in the 1990s. Best-selling books and feature-length movies documented the trials and tribulations of trendy start-up companies, complete with foosball tables and macaws-inresidence. Twenty-somethings worth billions on paper partied with Hollywood stars and were feted by Washington pols. After the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, turning a lot of that paper into confetti, the cultural fascination with entrepreneurship faded. the old brand names of corporate America, by and large, regained their places in the consciousness of consumers and investors. As 2001 closed, the autobiography of General Electric ceo Jack Welch topped business book buyers’ Christmas lists; one can be confident that neither “foosball” nor “macaw” appears in the index of Jack: Straight from the Gut.

But appearances can be deceptive. the entrepreneurship fad rested on a foundation of fact. New companies have made significant contributions to economic growth in the past decade, both directly and by stimulating their more established competitors, as they indeed had in the decades before that. If the fad exaggerated these contributions, its fading should not obscure them entirely. Entrepreneurship is an economic phenomenon worthy of attention from those who worry about

Thanks to Maryann Feldman, Erik Pages, and Candy Brush for their comments on this
chapter and to the Center for Business and Government (especially its director, Ira
Jackson) and the National Commission on Entrepreneurship for their support of this
project.

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