Small Business Economics—Opening Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Black Boxes

When:  Jan 20, 2023 from 09:00 to 23:59 (CET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)
Opening Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Black Boxes
Special Issue Proposal for Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal (SBEJ)

Extended Abstract for paper development sessions: June 30th, 2022
Full paper submission: January 20, 2023

Guest Editors:
● Erik Stam, Utrecht University School of Economics, The Netherlands
● Niels Bosma, Utrecht University School of Economics, The Netherlands
● Didier Chabaud, IAE Paris Sorbonne Business School, University Paris 1 Panthéon
Sorbonne, France
● Christina Theodoraki, TBS Education, France
● Gregory Guéneau, ADALIA Institute | School of Business and Management, Morocco

Scope of the Special Issue:
Entrepreneurship-led development is increasingly seen as the way forward for economies to create well-being (Wurth, Stam and Spigel, 2021). The entrepreneurial ecosystem approach has the promise to improve our understanding of entrepreneurship-led development and also to provide a framework for action to improve it. An entrepreneurial ecosystem is defined as ‘a set of interdependent actors and factors that are governed in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory’ (Leendertse, Schrijvers and Stam, 2021). For improving our understanding and policies for the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems we need both quantitative and qualitative research, and research at macro, meso and micro levels.

As this field of research presents mainly macro and micro level analysis research, of a multidisciplinary and complex phenomenon, scholars provide three main streams of research under those perspectives: configuration and evolution, system and sustainability, and strategic (Theodoraki, Dana and Caputo, 2022). Recently, scholars opened interesting research under configuration (Spigel, 2022), knowledge (Audretsch, Belitski and Korosteleva, 2021), time and place (Perugini, 2022) perspectives. However,our knowledge remains still insufficient with respect to how entrepreneurship-led development takes place, what its effects are, and how an entrepreneurial ecosystem approach can enhance entrepreneurship-led development.

In that perspective, recent research suggests opening the black box of entrepreneurial ecosystems (Guéneau, Chabaud and Sauvannet, 2022; Theodoraki, Dana and Caputo, 2022) at a meso level of analysis to capture entrepreneurial ecosystem configurations and processes at a whole scale. More generally, scholars acknowledge the necessity to explore new datasets, new ways of data collection and methods of analysis to explore those mechanisms. By doing so we also seek to better understand the interaction between entrepreneurial ecosystem elements, actors, and spillovers contingent on the regional context (Content, Bosma, Jordaan and Sanders 2020) and the effects of entrepreneurial ecosystems and entrepreneurship on economic and social progress, and contributions to sustainable development (Roundy 2017; Volkmann, Fichter, Klofsten and Audretsch 2021).

The special issue invites papers that address the following themes and questions:
- How are EEs configured and organized, and how is it beneficial to (specific types of) entrepreneurs? More generally, what are the underlying processes occurring within EEs that jointly spur entrepreneurial dynamics?
- What are the network attributes of EEs in terms of ties, relations between communities, individuals or organizations reflecting its healthiness or maturity? How do these attributes affect EE outcomes and how do networking mechanisms develop over time?
- How can different EE configurations be linked to social and sustainable entrepreneurship and as such be instrumental to make progress on the Sustainable Development Goals?
- How does the dimension of time play out within EEs, especially in terms of networking (speed to connect for entrepreneurs), EE growth, time between policy measure and effect, narrative evolution, social entrepreneurship emergence?
- What are EE stages of evolution? In terms of for example scale, moving from genesis to growth and maturity, EEs’ multi-level interactions, interacting sub-ecosystems jointly to contributing to overall performance, inter-ecosystem relationships?
- What are the relevant spatial configurations of EEs? How do those configurations allow EEs to interact with other ecosystems? Do spatial configurations or physical infrastructure impact the availability of social capital for entrepreneurs?
- How can we measure EE policy effectiveness and impact? For example, in terms of investments, actions, mindset, level of support or type of governance regarding EE spillovers.

This call for papers invites contributions on entrepreneurial ecosystem configurations and processes. The guest editors seek novel and original submissions from a theoretical or empirical
perspective that contribute to advance our knowledge on the topics proposed above and related issues.

We encourage conceptual as well as case-based and empirically-based submissions using longitudinal data. Moreover, we recommend that authors pay explicit attention to the managerial and policy implications of their findings.

How to submit your paper
This call for papers includes:
- Paper development sessions during the Innodays Conference - November 4 to 8th 2022
(Casablanca & Virtual)

Attending the Innodays Conference in person is not mandatory for submitting to the special issue. Extended Abstract manuscripts submitted to the conference must be proposed through the dedicated platform (see link below). The submitted abstracts will be subject to a first screening by the Guest Editors who, after a profound review of all submitted abstracts, will invite authors of selected studies to submit their full paper for formal consideration to be presented during Innodays Conference.

The extended abstract submission includes no more than five-page (1500 words), and this abstract should be sent on the conference platform. Content: Author and co-author names, surnames, and affiliations, without email addresses or other personal details ; Purpose/Aims of the paper ; Research methodology ; Findings/Conclusions ; Discussion ; Research limitations ; Practical implications/Applications to practice ; Social implications/Impact on society and/or policy (if applicable) : Originality/What is new about your research? Submissions must use Times New Roman font.

Selected papers presented during the Innodays conference will be invited to continue the editorial process and submit the full manuscripts to SBEJ.

The guest editors will manage the editorial and review process of the SBEJ Special Issue submissions. All papers will be subject to the standard referee process of Small Business Economics, and will undergo a final review by the Editorial Board after conditional acceptance by the guest editors.

Submissions must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. All submissions should conform to the SBEJ manuscript submission guidelines available at

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically with the subject line “Opening Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Black Boxes” to on or before January 20, 2023.

Please note that participating in the Innodays conference is not a condition for submitting a paper to the special issue. Likewise, participation in the InnoDays does not guarantee publication in the Special Issue.

Schedule (Deadlines):
- Extended abstract for Innodays conference: June 30, 2022
- Notification of conditional acceptance to conference: July 15, 2022
- Full paper submission: Innodays conference: September 16, 2022
- Notification of acceptance of conference paper: September 30, 2022
- Early bird registration for conference: October 7, 2022
- Late & online registration: October 21, 2022
- Conference: November 4 to 8, 2022 - Casablanca & Virtual
- Recommendation for continuing publication process: November 7, 2022
- SBEJ SI Submission: January 20, 2023

About Innodays conference:
Innodays is the International Conference for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Africa, which happens each year in Casablanca, Morocco, organized by ADALIA Institute. The 2022 edition will happen on November 4th to 8th, both in person and online. This is a deeply hybrid conference, with both an Academic Conference for Scholars, bridged with an associated call for paper with Small Business Economics Journal, and an open Conference. For this edition, Innodays hosts prestigious academic partners: Sorbonne Business School (Paris, France), ETI Chair (Paris, France), UU School of Economics (Utrecht, Netherlands), CREATE (Lyon, France), Magellan (Lyon, France). This year's academic conference is tied with the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Research Community initiative led by Utrecht University School of Economics.

Registration Instructions:
All submissions must be written in English (either American or British English is allowed, but not a mixture of the two).

Each participant may submit only one paper to the Conference (individually or in collaboration with other co-authors).

Selected reviewers will review all submissions. These reviewers will make the final decisions regarding which papers are accepted for presentation at Innodays Conference. Authors must pay the Conference registration fee before presenting the paper in the parallel sessions in case they present in person. No conference fee is charged for virtual participation.

The best papers presented at the Conference will receive a recommendation for publication in special issues in the participating journal.

Audretsch, D.B., Belitski, M. and Korosteleva, J. (2021) ‘Cultural diversity and knowledge in explaining entrepreneurship in European cities’, Small Business Economics, 56(2), pp. 593–611. doi:10.1007/s11187-019-00191-4.
Content, J., Bosma, N., Jordaan, J., & Sanders, M. (2020). Entrepreneurial ecosystems, entrepreneurial activity and economic growth: new evidence from European regions. Regional Studies, 54(8), 1007-1019.
Guéneau, G., Chabaud, D. and Sauvannet, M.-C.C. (2022) ‘Opening entrepreneurial ecosystem’s black box: the power of networks in African low-income countries’, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal [Preprint]. doi:10.1007/s11365-021-00775-1.
Leendertse, J., Schrijvers, M. and Stam, E. (2021) ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Metrics’, Research Policy, p. 104336. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2021.104336.
Perugini, F. (2022) ‘Space–time analysis of entrepreneurial ecosystems’, The Journal of Technology Transfer [Preprint]. doi:10.1007/s10961-021-09906-w.
Roundy, P. T. (2017). Social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystems: Complementary or disjoint phenomena?. International Journal of Social Economics, 44 (9), 1252-1267.
Volkmann, C., Fichter, K., Klofsten, M., & Audretsch, D. B. (2021). Sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: an emerging field of research. Small Business Economics, 56(3), 1047-1055.
Spigel, B. (2022) ‘Examining the cohesiveness and nestedness entrepreneurial ecosystems: evidence from British FinTechs’, Small Business Economics [Preprint]. doi:10.1007/s11187-021-00589-z.
Theodoraki, C., Dana, L.-P. and Caputo, A. (2022) ‘Building sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: A holistic approach’, Journal of Business Research, 140, pp. 346–360. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.11.005.
Wurth, B., Stam, E. and Spigel, B. (2021) ‘Toward an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Research
Program’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, p. 104225872199894. doi:10.1177/1042258721998948.