4 Pages Posted: 8 May 2011
Date Written: April 2011
Interest in the study of entrepreneurship has flourished among scholars in recent years. This research has brought to light, among other things, the important role of entrepreneurship and innovation in economic growth. We know that innovative entrepreneurs - those who bring new products and processes to the market - are disproportionately responsible for the breakthrough or ‘disruptive’ innovations that change our daily lives and allow for the rapid improvement in standards of living that developed countries have experienced over the past century, and also disproportionately responsible for job growth in industrialized economies. While we have learned much about the effects of entrepreneurship, many of the mechanisms of change remain open for research.
The role of entrepreneurship in the economic growth of developing countries is certainly even more complex. Studies of this topic often look to history for answers, following the development path of industrialized or growing nations to find the ‘secret sauce’ for their success. Just as innovative entrepreneurial activity is vital to the ongoing growth of developed countries, innovation and entrepreneurship are essential components to a developing economy’s long-term growth. This is the topic of the recent UNU-WIDER book Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, edited by Wim Naudé. This article provides some perspective on this contribution.
Keywords: economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, industry dynamics, firm dynamics, development, data, barriers, entrepreneurs, innovative
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