Since the 1980s, governments have often sought to encourage entrepreneurship on the assumption that it creates small businesses which are the primary drivers of job creation. Largely because of this assumption, entrepreneurship has become a valid subject for academic research attracting extensive funding.
Yet despite this explosion of scholarship, there is no accepted model of how entrepreneurship operates or even a commonly accepted definition of what it is. Simon Bridge posits that this is because entrepreneurship has been studied as if it were a deterministic science, based on the false assumption that it exists as a specific discrete identifiable phenomenon operating in accordance with consistent, predictable ‘rules’.
This challenging book contends that this misdirected search has produced more questions than answers. Accepting that entrepreneurship as we have conceived it does not exist could lead to new and valuable insights into what the different forms of entrepreneurship are and how they might be influenced. Scholars, advanced students and policy makers will find this a thought-provoking insight into the myths and misconceptions of ‘entrepreneurship’.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Why: Why have we been searching for entrepreneurship and why write this book
Chapter 2 A history of work (and the options for addressing life needs)
Chapter 3 Observations of entrepreneurs – and entrepreneurship
Chapter 4 Reflections on what has been found
Chapter 5 Revisiting entrepreneurship
Chapter 6 Suppose entrepreneurship (as we have conceived it) doesn’t exist
Chapter 7 What makes people more entrepreneurial?
Chapter 8 What has produced sustained economic growth?
Chapter 9 To conclude
Simon Bridge is a visiting Professor at the University of Ulster. He joined LEDU (Local Enterprise Development Unit – the Northern Ireland government’s small business agency) in 1984 where he was the Enterprise Development Director. In 1993, he set up his own business as a consultant and a facilitator of enterprise and voluntary/community sector development. His clients have included government departments and agencies, district councils, local enterprise agencies, universities and further education institutions, private businesses and many third sector bodies – and his work for them has included feasibility studies, economic appraisals, business cases, funding applications, project evaluations and, where required, business plans. He has also undertaken assignments in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Mozambique, Romania, Lithuania and Turkey and served on the boards of several third sector enterprises.