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Socio-cultural barriers to developing a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem

Jacqueline Walsh (School of Arts and Social Science, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)
Blair Winsor (Faculty of Business, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 8 January 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to provide a contextual analysis that helps explain how socio-cultural factors are negatively impacting the evolution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a struggling regional economy.


A case study method is used to provide a detailed contextual analysis triangulating primary and secondary data.


This paper provides insight into a region impeded from embracing the benefits of innovation-driven entrepreneurship in fostering economic development. The authors show that socio-cultural factors may be inhibiting the region from having a functional entrepreneurial ecosystem that can support innovation. Specific aspects of culture and social capital weaknesses are identified and insight into the potential causes of these impediments were offered. As well, the paper shows how the fundamental nature of culture may be affecting other elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem from maturing.


This paper adds to a small, but growing, body of literature that is illustrating the evolutionary nature of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the significant impact of socio-cultural attributes to that evolution. This paper responds to calls to investigate contexts in which innovation does not thrive and where economic challenges prevail. The value of this research paper is to provide conceptual contributions in a contextual analysis from which other researchers can draw comparisons, insights and inspiration for similar approaches. Despite the abundance of research discussing the importance of culture, there are very few actual case studies showing concrete examples of culture and its influence on a region’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.



Walsh, J. and Winsor, B. (2019), "Socio-cultural barriers to developing a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 263-282.



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