In this paper we examine the operation of entrepreneurial ecosystems. We use the work of Isenberg (2010) to frame a study of an ecosystem in Ireland. Following a review of the literature and guided by an expert panel (n=8) we conducted a survey of small business owners (n=100). Statistical analysis of the survey data revealed sixteen dimensions with a complex system of interrelationships. In the discussion we explain how and importantly why the dimensions can and should be identified and analysed. We propose that although an entrepreneurial ecosystem will align with an extended version of the six domains proposed by Isenberg (2010) each individual ecosystem must be studied to identify its complex system of unique dimensions. Implications for theory and practice, as well as limitations and future research directions, are discussed. It is envisaged that our approach to modelling ecosystems will serve as the basis for further thought and empiricism.
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the authors wish to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the associate editor and the reviewer. Their guidance and recommendations have resulted in significant improvements to this paper.
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- Entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Small business