The Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

45 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2017 Last revised: 4 Mar 2017

See all articles by Zoltan J. Acs

Zoltan J. Acs

Schar School of Policy and Government

Fiona Sussan

School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix

Date Written: February 15, 2017


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 understanding 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, multi-sided platforms, information technologies

JEL Classification: L26; O11; P40; P00

Suggested Citation

Acs, Zoltan J. and Sussan, Fiona, The Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (February 15, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Zoltan J. Acs (Contact Author)

Schar School of Policy and Government ( email )

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Arlington, VA 22201
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703-993-1780 (Phone)


Fiona Sussan

School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix ( email )

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