Much of extant literature on entrepreneurship ecosystems is geared toward mid- and large-size metropolitan areas, and small cities are considered disadvantageous without essential elements for the ecosystem. The purpose of this paper is to shed light on understanding how small cities can have vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystems.
This study conducted 42 semistructured interviews of entrepreneurs and supporters in small towns of Montana, USA. This study also supplemented with a survey of 178 firms.
Entrepreneurs in small cities enjoy dense support networks including experienced entrepreneurs, key business and civic leaders and elected officials. They also attend entrepreneurial events and establish connections with support organizations with a distance of 200 miles.
The cases in this paper demonstrate that small cities can have vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystems without urban diversity and agglomeration. That additionally means that we should not apply the theoretical framework developed with large urban areas to small cities and consider different models of development for small cities.
This project was partially funded by Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Motoyama, Y. and Henderson, C. (2022), "Small is beautiful? Entrepreneurship ecosystems in small towns of Montana", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-08-2022-0122
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