Revue de l'Entrepreneuriat—Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Territories (Evolution, Resilience and Sust

Starts:  Mar 17, 2021 9:00 AM (FR)
Ends:  Jun 30, 2021 11:00 PM (FR)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)
Special Issue
Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Territories (Evolution, Resilience and Sustainability)

Guest Editors:
Christina Theodoraki, TBS Business School,
David Audretsch, Indiana University,
Didier Chabaud, IAE Paris-Sorbonne,


While over the past 15 years, the entrepreneurial ecosystem has received increasing scholarly attention, it remains atheoretical and static (Autio et al., 2018; Cao et al., 2020; Spigel and Harrison, 2018). Yet, the entrepreneurial ecosystem is viewed as a fundamental tool for fostering resilient economies based on innovation (Roundy et al., 2017, 2018; Spigel, 2017). Entrepreneurial ecosystem scholars highlight the importance of structural, cultural and social factors of entrepreneurship (Spigel, 2017; Theodoraki et al., 2018) and their contextualization through the local specificities of places and cities (Audretsch and Belitski, 2017; Audretsch et al., 2019).

To this extent, evolutionary theories consider that the entrepreneurial ecosystems develop complex dynamics which evolve in time to adapt in the local context, become resilient and sustainable (Bischoff, 2019; Cohen, 2006; Roundy et al., 2017; 2018; Roundy and Bayer, 2019; Ryan et al., 2020; Theodoraki et al., 2018). The heterogeneity of ecosystems, their ability to adapt and recover from endogenous pressures and exogenous shocks provide comprehensive insights of the ecosystem history, evolution and sustainability (Roundy et al., 2017). Furthermore, in periods of crisis, resilience may be studied either by an asset or an ability to face difficulties; or by a dynamic process of the life cycle trajectory and evolution of the ecosystem (Bernard and Barbosa, 2016; Ryan et al., 2020). Resilience has been mainly explored from a cognitive or behavioral perspective at the individual or organizational level, while remaining under-examined at the macro or ecosystem level which raises questions on how territories respond to external challenges and shocks (Boschma, 2015; Bégin and Chabaud, 2010).

In parallel, policy makers contribute to the governance, evolution and sustainability of the ecosystem by creating laws favorable to the entrepreneurial activity and by supporting institutions to build an entrepreneurial culture and mindset. Consequently, the entrepreneurial process to create and sustain firms is complex and needs to be studied through an ecosystem perspective in order to build sustainable entrepreneurial societies with respect to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations (Cohen, 2006; Pankov et al., 2019; Spigel and Harrison, 2018; Theodoraki et al., 2018; Volkmann et al., 2019). This ecosystem perspective has been currently associated with the Covid-19 health crisis which allows to examine how the context may impact the entrepreneurial activity and the economic development in terms of a holistic, dynamic and multi-stakeholder involvement (Ratten, 2020).

Aim of the special issue
The purpose of this special issue is to advance the ecosystem scholarly discussion by exploring the multi-layer phenomenon of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its evolution during turbulences and crisis challenges. This includes a synthesis of insights from multi-level and process-based approaches while acknowledging the contextual challenges of specific ecosystems. 

We encourage submissions that cover multiple approaches, literatures, and forms including (empirical, theoretical, quantitative, qualitative papers or literature reviews). Multi-level, multi-stakeholder, process-based approaches and comparative cross-country analyses are welcomed to address different perspectives of the special issue.

Examples of research questions that may be addressed (without being exhaustive):

  1. What are the individual, organizational, and systemic determinants for the development of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems?
  2. What factors influence the ecosystem evolution, transformation and life cycle?
  3. What are the dynamics, mechanisms and strategic behaviors (motivation, commitment, trust, coopetition, etc.) during the ecosystem evolution?
  4. What are the drivers, processes, and challenges of ecosystem resilience?
  5. To what extent do digital affordances enable ecosystem transformation? What are the enablers and barriers of an ecosystem’s digital transformation?
  6. To what extent do ecosystems (place, gender, diversity, heterogeneity) and contextual specificities (environment turbulences, developed, emerging, in transition, sharing and circular economies) impact its evolution, resilience and sustainability?
  7. To what extent sustainable business models affect ecosystem resilience and evolution? How sustainable business models evolve in times of crisis?
  8. To what extent ecosystem actors and factors (education, support organizations, supportive culture, societal responsibility, SDGs) affect the ecosystem’s transition?

This non-exhaustive list can be enriched with contributions addressing the topic through other disciplines.



Audretsch, D.B., Belitski, M., & Desai, S. (2019). National business regulations and city entrepreneurship in Europe: A multilevel nested analysis, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 43(6): 1148-1165.

Audretsch, D.B., & Belitski M. (2017). Entrepreneurial ecosystems in cities: establishing the framework conditions, Journal of Technology Transfer, 42: 1030-1051.

Autio, E., Nambisan, S., Thomas, L. D., & Wright, M. (2018). Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(1): 72-95.

Bégin, L., & Chabaud, D. (2010). La résilience des organisations, Revue Française de Gestion, 1(200): 127-142.

Bernard, M.J., & Barbosa, S.D. (2016). Resilience and entrepreneurship: A dynamic and biographical approach to the entrepreneurial act, M@n@gement, 19(2): 89-123.

Bischoff, K. (2019). A study on the perceived strength of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems on the dimensions of stakeholder theory and culture, Small Business Economics,

Boschma, R. (2015). Towards an evolutionary perspective on regional resilience, Regional Studies, 49(5): 733-751.

Cao, Z., & Shi, X. (2020). A systematic literature review of entrepreneurial ecosystems in advanced and emerging economies, Small Business Economics,

Cohen, B. (2006). Sustainable valley entrepreneurial ecosystems, Business Strategy and the Environment, 15(1): 1-14.

Neumeyer, X., & Santos, S. C. (2018). Sustainable business models, venture typologies, and entrepreneurial ecosystems: A social network perspective. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172: 4565-4579.

Pankov, S., Velamuri, V.K., & Schneckenberg, D. (2019). Towards sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: examining the effect of contextual factors on sustainable entrepreneurial activities in the sharing economy, Small Business Economics,

Ratten, V. (2020). Coronavirus and international business: An entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective, Thunderbird International Business Review, 62(5): 629-634.

Roundy, P.T., Bradshaw M., & Brockman, B.K. (2018). The emergence of entrepreneurial ecosystems: A complex adaptive systems approach, Journal of Business Research, 86: 1-10.

Roundy P.T., Brockman, B.K., & Bradshaw M. (2017). The resilience of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 8: 99-104.

Roundy, P.T., & Bayer, M.A. (2019). To bridge or buffer? A resource dependence theory of nascent entrepreneurial ecosystems, Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 11(4): 550-575.

Ryan, P., Giblin, M., Buciuni, G., & Kogler, D. F. (2020). The role of MNEs in the genesis and growth of a resilient entrepreneurial ecosystem, Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 1-18.

Spigel, B. (2017). The relational organization of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(1): 49-72.

Spigel, B., & Harrison, R. (2018). Toward a process theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(1): 151-168.

Theodoraki, C., Messeghem, K., & Rice, M. (2018). A social capital approach to the development of sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: an explorative study, Small Business Economics, 51(1): 153-170.

Theodoraki, C., & Messeghem, K. (2017). Exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the field of entrepreneurial support: a multi-level approach, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 31(1): 47-66.

Volkmann, C., Fichter, K., Klofsten, M., & Audretsch, D.B. (2019). Sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystems: an emerging field of research, Small Business Economics,

Biography of the Guest Editors

Christina Theodoraki is Assistant professor in Entrepreneurship & Strategy at TBS Business School (France). Her thesis entitled “Towards an Ecosystem Approach to the Strategy and Performance of Incubators” received two Best Dissertations Awards in Entrepreneurship from the AEI academy and the AIREPME research association. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Development Strategies (SPEA) at the University of Indiana; Business Development Manager of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Research Network (EERN); member of the Labex Entrepreneuriat; and Leader of the Babson Collaborative Research Group on Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. She also is a member of the Associate Editorial Board of Entrepreneurship Research Journal and member of the Editorial boards of Journal of the Knowledge Economy and Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Her areas of research include entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurial support, and inter-organizational strategies with a focus on business incubators. Her research has been published in journals such as Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, M@n@gement, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Entreprendre & Innover, and other journals.

David B. Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University (USA), where he also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies.  He also is a part time Professor at the Department of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship, University of Klagenfurt, Austria and an Honorary Professor of Industrial Economics and Entrepreneurship at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. His research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development and global competitiveness. He is co-author of The Seven Secrets of Germany, published by Oxford University Press. He is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal. He was awarded the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research by the Swedish Foundation for Entrepreneurship. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Augsburg, Jonköping University and the University of Siegen. Audretsch also was awarded the Schumpeter Prize from the University of Wuppertal. In 2019, he was honoured by a Festschrift in Munich celebrating his contribution and academic achievements in entrepreneurship research. Audretsch has consulted with numerous international organizations, including the World Bank, OECD, European Union and the United Nations. He currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board to a number of research and policy institutes, including the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum in Stockholm, the Jackstädt Centre for Entrepreneurship in Wuppertal, Germany, and the American Center for Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C., as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the University of Siegen in Germany.

Didier Chabaud is Full professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the IAE Paris Sorbonne Business School (France). He is the Director of the Chair of Entrepreneurship - Territory - Innovation (ETI) and Co-director of the University Diploma in Entrepreneurship. He also is the Past President of the Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI). He currently serves as Senior Editor of the Revue de l’Entrepreneuriat after serving as Editor-in-Chief of the journal (2013-2019). He co-animates several thematic groups and research discussions including the “Territorial entrepreneurship” group of the Academy of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (AEI). Chabaud has published numerous articles on the subject in academic journals, as well as books and book chapters. His research interests include the dynamics of business creation (creation process, role of teams and social networks, support) and the development strategies of organizations, especially family organizations, and territories.

The articles must comply with the requirements and norms of the Revue de l’Entrepreneuriat,
and respect the manuscript submission guidelines:
Articles in English and French are welcome. The submission should be made on Manuscript
by indicated the Special Issue’s Title “Entrepreneurial
Ecosystem and Territories”.
After an initial screening by the guest editors, all articles will be reviewed according to the
policies of
Revue de l’Entrepreneuriat through an anonymous review process

- Submission deadline for the special issue: June 30th, 2021
- First round of reviews for submitted papers: September 15th, 2021
- Transmission of amended proposals: November 20th, 2021
- Second round of reviews for amended proposals: January 15th, 2022
- Reception of the final version of articles: March 15th, 2022

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Christina Theodoraki