Entrepreneurial growth in elite team sport SME’s in Finland

Aila Ahonen (School of Engineering Science, LUT University, Lahti, Finland)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Publication date: 14 June 2019



Entrepreneurship in the sport sector has become an important discussion topic amongst public policymakers in Finland, and the interface between entrepreneurial sport companies and the public sector is crucial in the development of sport entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the entrepreneurial growth of two elite team sport companies in Finland by describing the entrepreneurial characteristics and organizational development affecting their growth. This paper aims at giving new insights into the discussion of growth entrepreneurship in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) in the team sport context.


A qualitative case study approach was chosen to best describe the phenomenon of entrepreneurial growth in top sport team SME’s.


The results indicate that the entrepreneurial growth in these two cases comes from entrepreneurial opportunities, growth orientation and growth ability. Industry-specific issues, organizational characteristics, a favorable operating environment, entrepreneurially oriented owner-entrepreneurs and the policymakers’ capability of supporting the growth have affected the success of these team sport enterprises.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to the Finnish sport context and these studied cases.

Practical implications

This paper explains the entrepreneurial growth of two successful Finnish team sport enterprises and offers interesting insights for sport management and similar entrepreneurial sport enterprises in the industry.


This paper contributes to the discussion of sport entrepreneurship, and, especially, offers further understanding of growth entrepreneurship in SME.



Aila Ahonen (2019) "Entrepreneurial growth in elite team sport SME’s in Finland", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print

Download as .RIS


: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-03-2019-102



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