Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Regional Differences in Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Implications for the Romanian Competitiveness Policy

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Regional Differences in Entrepreneurial Perceptions and Implications for the Romanian Competitiveness Policy

Article excerpt

Introduction

Since Schumpeter (1911), entrepreneurship is considered a significant factor of economic growth, and competitiveness by economists and public policy decision making factors, being also called the 'fourth' factor of production (Leff, 1979).

Entrepreneurship is currently understood as a reflection of the local competitive advantages and disadvantages of the external environment or, in other words, of the overall microeconomic business, social and economic conditions. The networks of local systems, competitors, customers, suppliers and specialized institutions are part of the external environment which can stimulate or jeopardize entrepreneurship. Understanding entrepreneurship at regional level as an "approximation of the economy's capacity to dynamically face the multiple challenges of the economic opening", Cojanu (2006) links entrepreneurship with territorial development and competitiveness. Still, in spite of this intriguing and vague relation between entrepreneurship and competitiveness, however in clear connection with the lack of primary data on entrepreneurship, have left this topic understudied in the literature, especially in Romania. Few authors examine the implications of the differences in entrepreneurship for macroeconomic policies, such as Cojanu (2006).

From a policy perspective, the situation is also problematic. The lack of efficiency of public policies for improving the conditions for entrepreneurship development has been signaled in many academic and non-academic environments. The Romanian public policy has lacked a structured and coherent approach to sustaining the local entrepreneurship environment, which negatively impacted economic growth (Armeanu et al., 2015), as well as local development and competitiveness. This governmental difficulty to efficiently implement public policies overlaps with a fragile entrepreneurial culture (Ion and Nicolae, 2012a), in which new businesses have emerged despite the institutional limitations. In rural areas, in which development is invariably determined by the pervasive influence of a small and micro-scale entrepreneurial business (Nemirschi and Craciun, 2010), the results of an inefficient public policy are even more severe.

The Romanian National Competitiveness Strategy 2010-2020 (RNCS) signals that public policy on competitiveness ignores the effects of spatial agglomerations and does not have mechanisms to supervise the spatial effect of investments. This, despite the fact that the idea and practice of defining socio-economic development strategies in terms of geographical areas is not new in Romania. This practice is a result of the implementation of European Union policies in Romania, which aim at economic, social and territorial convergence and cohesion. At European level, the emergence of authentic territorial economies with planning and decision making responsibilities, has acquired a significant importance. This importance increased as the financial framework 2007-2013 established territorial cooperation as one main objective of the cohesion policy. In the case of Romania, there are significant territorial economic development gaps and differences between Romanian regions but also between Romanian and European regions.

In this context, we study regional differences in entrepreneurial initiative and perception and their possible impact on the national competitiveness strategy, as formulated in the Romanian National Competitiveness Strategy 2010-2020. We use primary data collected in March-April 2012, in three Romanian regions (Bucuresti-Ilfov, Centre, North-East) regarding entrepreneurship, in the context and with the financing of the European project eLife, ID 61758, coordinated by the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies. The project eLife - The Development of Innovation, Creativity, Responsibility and Sustainability of Romanian Entrepreneurship, ID POSDRU/92/3.1/S/61758, was financed through the European Social Fund and was carried out between December 2010 and November 2013. …

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