Shoals Shift Project: an ecosystem transformation success story

Edward Morrison (Agile Strategy Lab, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
John D. Barrett (Department of Economics and Finance, University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, USA)
Janyce B. Fadden (Department of Economics and Finance, University of North Alabama, Florence, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy

ISSN: 2045-2101

Publication date: 2 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a reflective theory of development for entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Muscle Shoals region of northern Alabama. The theory provides guidance for practitioners and policymakers interested in developing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

The theory offers five propositions, which are illustrated and applied in the case study. The propositions include the need for civic leaders recognizing local talent; support networks for entrepreneurs; a quality, connected place; activities designed to increase interactivity for entrepreneurs within the ecosystem; five distinct phases producing replicable, scalable and sustainable projects; and universities providing platforms upon which the ecosystems can develop.

Findings

Application of the proposed theory is transforming the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Muscle Shoals region. In just four years, the project has produced over 30 initiatives and events, precipitously increased student participation in entrepreneurial ventures and raised over $1m.

Originality/value

The theory and its application developed from a collaboration between the Agile Strategy Lab at Purdue University and the Institute for Innovation and Economic Development at the University of North Alabama. This collaboration is replicable, scalable and sustainable, and is a model for university-led entrepreneurial ecosystem development and transformation.

Keywords

Citation

Morrison, E., Barrett, J. and Fadden, J. (2019), "Shoals Shift Project: an ecosystem transformation success story", Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 339-358. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEPP-04-2019-0033

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.