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Challenges of building entrepreneurial ecosystems in peripheral places

Zimu Xu (International Centre for Transformational Entrepreneurship, Coventry University, Coventry, UK)
Stephen Dobson (School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 20 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate challenges of building entrepreneurial ecosystems in peripheral places. The entrepreneurial ecosystem concept is developing a rising popularity among both academics and policymakers in recent years where much of the attention has been put in major urban cities. However, on the way to achieve balanced growth and equity, peripheral places should not be neglected. Thus, this paper links literature on ecosystem with peripheral region studies in creating a conceptual framework of developing entrepreneurial ecosystems in peripheral places.


The paper first reviews literature on entrepreneurial ecosystems and challenges that peripheral places facing in particular. Then, taking into consideration of literature from both fields, a conceptual framework is developed. In order to better illustrate the framework, a case study on Guildford’s digital gaming industry is reviewed based on secondary data.


Though facing various challenges such as smallness, remoteness and lack of resources, peripheral places can take advantage of the digital technology and build an entrepreneurial ecosystem of its own kind through holistic collaborative approach to tackle issues around finance, talents, socio-culture environment, infrastructure, markets and policy.


The paper is among the first to focus on developing a holistic conceptual framework in building entrepreneurial ecosystems in peripheral areas. It can lead to a range of further research topics and contribute to develop viable practices particularly for policymakers.



Xu, Z. and Dobson, S. (2019), "Challenges of building entrepreneurial ecosystems in peripheral places", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 408-430.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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