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A Literature Review of E-Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies: Positioning Research on Latin American Digital Startups

  • Gerardo Quinones
  • Brian Nicholson
  • Richard Heeks
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter critically reviews literature on e-entrepreneurship in order to position future empirical research with a focus on emerging markets (The terms “emerging economies”, “emerging countries”, or “developing economies” are used interchangeably and refer to the list of countries named as such by the International Monetary Fund (World Economic Outlook. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund, 2013)) in general and in Latin America in particular. The term ‘e-entrepreneurship’ has been used to describe the creation of different e-businesses by both start-ups and established companies. Thus, the concept of Digital Start-up (DS) as a specific unit of study of e-entrepreneurship is presented. DSs are defined as start-ups born on the internet to sell only digital products/services exclusively online. The emergence of this new breed of enterprises is opening doors for entrepreneurs to enter new markets with an explosive potential for growth, as demonstrated by the cases of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others. This phenomenon acted as a catalyst for a new entrepreneurial ecosystem in emerging markets supported by both private and public entities. However, there are still very limited signs of success outside of the United States, Israel, and Europe. The literature reveals that the lifecycle and ecosystems of DSs have been extensively researched in developed countries; however, there is a relative paucity in the context of emerging economies. E-entrepreneurship research is grouped into six categories: e-business models, digital economy, entrepreneurship, business ecosystems, innovation, and e-entrepreneurship. Relevant theoretical frameworks and their application to DSs are explored. The chapter concludes that gaps remain in the literature on e-entrepreneurship in the context of emerging economies and questions for future research are presented.

Keywords

Digital start-up Business ecosystems E-business E-entrepreneurship Innovation Emerging economies Latin America 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerardo Quinones
    • 1
  • Brian Nicholson
    • 1
  • Richard Heeks
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Development InformaticsManchester Business School, University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Centre for Development InformaticsUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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