Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Small Business Management 56:1 (2018), pp. 4–10.
This paper introduces the theme of this special issue related to “Entrepreneurship Everywhere: Across Campus, Across Communities, and Across Borders.” We explore three critical points as we set up the accepted articles for the special issue. First, if we are everywhere are we anywhere? Second, we focus on the importance of collaboration. Third, we discuss the importance of strategically planning on how your efforts intervene or integrate into the wider ecosystem.
Entrepreneurship is everywhere. A search of the term “entrepreneurship” on Google yields 132 million results. By comparison a search on “strategic management” yields a mere 17.2 million results. Despite the highly unscientific nature of this comparison, the results shine the light on the tremendous interest and growth in entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs. The job creation potential of small businesses and entrepreneurial firms has captured the attention of politicians from across the globe and the ideological spectrum, who frequently hale the benefits of entrepreneurial activity. Citing work by Tornatzky and Rideout (2014), the Kauffman Foundation’s (2015) “State of Entrepreneurship” address indicates that entrepreneurship programs, both curricular and noncurricular, are the fastest-growing programs on college campuses. While many large corporations are villainized, entrepreneurs and small businesses are generally held in high regard and lionized in many instances. Further, interest and growth in the topic of entrepreneurship is unbound by geography or academic discipline. Across many university campuses it is common to find multiple programs and centers dedicated to fostering and growing entrepreneurship. Programs as diverse as engineering, music, pharmacy, agriculture, art, and law are all focusing on helping their students to both engage in entrepreneurial thinking and activity. While the business school remains a key component of the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campuses across the globe, the diversity of programs has grown dramatically. This special issue seeks to highlight this expansive growth by including a diverse set of articles that point to the explosive growth of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship programing around the world, within our communities and on college campuses. We will briefly preview each of the contributions below, but first we highlight three critical and related questions of the growth of entrepreneurship. First, if entrepreneurship is everywhere, is it truly anywhere? Second, as entrepreneurship continues to be an emphasis across levels of federal, state, and local government and as diverse university entities continue to seek to spark entrepreneurial activities, how is this best managed? Third, how is the entrepreneurial ecosystem affected by the tremendous investment and enhanced focus of universities and government entities in trying to engineer entrepreneurship?