Hruskova M, Mason C & Herzog S (2023) Mapping entrepreneurship support organisations: An examination of the ‘cluttered landscape’ critique. Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit, p. 23. https://doi.org/10.1177/02690942231173655
Entrepreneurship support organisations (ESOs) support entrepreneurs with the provision of knowledge, resources, and training. They are a popular economic development tool for promoting entrepreneurial activity. However, the large number of ESOs has led to criticisms of oversaturation. We investigate this claim by analysing the ESOs in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Glasgow, Scotland. We draw on publicly available documentary data to map the ESOs landscape and adopt the organisational thickness lens to analyse and interpret our findings from a holistic perspective. Although the literature largely presents ESOs as homogenous, we find a large number of heterogeneous ESOs that provide a wide range of support activities which can cater to different needs. However, they do not clearly target a specific segment of entrepreneurs which makes it difficult for the clients to differentiate between them and find the most suitable ESO. This is likely the explanation for the perception of a ‘cluttered landscape’ with too many players. Considering that entrepreneurs draw on different support providers over the course of their entrepreneurial journey, a key implication of our study is that the issue of clutter is likely to improve with greater segmentation rather than reducing the number of ESOs.
entrepreneurship support organisations, entrepreneurship support, entrepreneurial ecosystems, institutional thickness, organisational thickness
Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit
|Funders||Economic and Social Research Council|
|Publication date online||24/05/2023|
|Date accepted by journal||18/04/2023|