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There is much attention for the role of entrepreneurship in enhancing regional or national growth. However, an absence of empirical entrepreneurship studies (i) including both national and regional measures of entrepreneurship and (ii) acknowledging the variation in types of entrepreneurship causes a gap in understanding the determinants and consequences of entrepreneurial behaviour and the actual spatial level involved. In this contribution we provide a first step towards bridging this gap. We use a large database from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) to create several indicators on regional, early-stage entrepreneurial activity and map these for 125 regions in Europe. Our preliminary results confirm the importance of making a distinction between low and high ambition entrepreneurship. We find, however, that regional variation in high ambition early-stage entrepreneurial activity is less pronounced as compared to overall early-stage entrepreneurial activity. This suggests that national forces are more important to growth and innovation aspirations than to general early stage entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; European regions; entrepreneurial activity; growth ambitions; urbanisation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9663.2007.00433.x

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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