Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 215–235 | Cite as

Entrepreneurial networks: A Triple Helix approach for brokering human and social capital

  • Savvas Papagiannidis
  • Feng Li
  • Henry Etzkowitz
  • Michael Clouser


Through utilising currently available Internet technologies, academic and governmental organisations can provide seedling companies in their incubators with additional competitive advantage through efficient access to markets, partners, knowledge and services both locally and globally. This paper proposes a Triple Helix approach for brokering social and human capital based on the skills brokerage business model. The skills brokerage business model is primarily suited for individuals and firms operating in localised settings. However, by using information and communication technologies, it is also possible to apply the model internationally for firms that need strategic partnerships in countries or regions other than their own. Coupled with the Triple Helix of university–government–industry interactions, it can propel innovation and the commercialisation of it beyond traditional boundaries of geography, such as the region and nation state. The paper also presents an Internet-based service that could be used to facilitate the brokerage process among the firms and people with relevant expertise and resources, and it discusses the implications this would have for a number of stakeholders, such as entrepreneurs, established businesses, service providers and business support organisations. This is still an emerging area and several themes for future research will be highlighted.


Skills brokerage Triple Helix Business support services Human capital Social capital Incubators Entrepreneurial networks 



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. They would also like to thank the editor for his continuous support throughout the review process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Savvas Papagiannidis
    • 1
  • Feng Li
    • 1
  • Henry Etzkowitz
    • 1
  • Michael Clouser
    • 2
  1. 1.Business SchoolNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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