Small Business Economics

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 819–836 | Cite as

The missing pillar: the creativity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship

  • David B. Audretsch
  • Maksim BelitskiEmail author


Knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship and the prevailing theory of economic growth treat opportunities as endogenous and generally focus on opportunity recognition by entrepreneurs. New knowledge created endogenously results in knowledge spillovers enabling inventors and entrepreneurs to commercialize it. This article discusses that knowledge spillover entrepreneurship depends not only on ordinary human capital, but more importantly also on creativity embodied in creative individuals and diverse urban environments that attract creative classes. This might result in self-selection of creative individuals into entrepreneurship or enable entrepreneurs to recognize creativity and commercialize it. This creativity theory of knowledge spillover entrepreneurship is tested utilizing data on European cities.


Entrepreneurship Creativity spillover Human capital European city 

JEL Classifications

J24 L26 O1 O31 



We are grateful to Zoltan Acs, Michael Fritsch, Erik Stam, Sameeksch Desai and other participants in the Academic Policy and the Knowledge Theory of Entrepreneurship Workshop (University of Augsburg, Germany, 20–21 August 2012) for helpful comments. We greatly appreciate the valuable suggestions made by two anonymous reviewers. Suggestions and comments by Erik E. Lehmann on the final revision have significantly improved the quality of this paper. We would also like to thank Stadtsparkasse Augsburg for financial support of the workshop.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Development StrategiesIndiana University BloomingtonBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.School of Economics and ManagementFree University of Bolzano-BozenBozenItaly

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