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Small Business Economics

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 55–73 | Cite as

The digital entrepreneurial ecosystem

  • Fiona SussanEmail author
  • Zoltan J. Acs
Article

Abstract

A significant gap exists in the conceptualization of entrepreneurship in the digital age. This paper introduces a conceptual framework for studying entrepreneurship in the digital age by integrating two well-established concepts: the digital ecosystem and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The integration of these two ecosystems helps us better understand the interactions of agents and users that incorporate insights of consumers’ individual and social behavior. The Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem framework consists of four concepts: digital infrastructure governance, digital user citizenship, digital entrepreneurship, and digital marketplace. The paper develops propositions for each of the four concepts and provides a theoretical framework of multisided platforms to better understand the digital entrepreneurial ecosystem. Finally, it outlines a new research agenda to fill the gap in our understanding of entrepreneurship in the digital age.

Keywords

Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Matchmakers Digital infrastructure Digital governance Digital citizenship Multisided platforms Information technologies 

JEL classification

L26 011 P40 P00 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper draws on several research projects over the years that the authors have been involved in. We wish to thank Erkko Autio, Laszlo Szerb, Erik Stam, and Johnathan Levie who have contributed to previous projects on the topic of entrepreneurship ecosystems and two anonymous referees for their helpful comments. All errors remain ours.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Advanced StudiesUniversity of PhoenixTempeUSA
  2. 2.Schar School of Policy and, GovernmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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