Rae, D. (2013), "Editorial", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 19 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijebr.2013.16019baa.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, Volume 19, Issue 2.
This issue of IJEBR is being finalised shortly after the end of the Institute for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (ISBE) Annual Conference in Dublin, which took place in November 2012. The ISBE Conference has become a landmark event for entrepreneurship researchers and those most interested in the development and support of new and small businesses. The Dublin Conference was especially significant because, being held outside the UK for the first time, it attracted an increased international audience and positioned the conference as an international, rather than principally UK event. Hopefully this move will continue in future years. The 2013 Conference returns to Cardiff, which hosted it most successfully in 2006.
The choice of Dublin was also significant because the city's banking industry had both been one of the principal agents in the financial crisis of 2008 and Ireland has suffered disproportionally from the ensuing recession and austerity programme. I had been invited to present to Trinity College students at the Dublin Innovation Festival prior to the conference and, walking along the Liffey, it was clearly visible where inner-city investment had led to major urban regeneration and renewal, as well as the point where this had stopped abruptly. Yet although there is certainly no boom, there were many signs of a revival in business confidence and entrepreneurial activity in Dublin " much of this centred on Higher Education at Trinity College, Dublin City University and the Dublin Institute of Technology.
One of our tasks in Dublin was to run a fully attended workshop on entrepreneurship education and specifically to highlight and compare the guidance on Entrepreneurship Education for Universities, produced in Ireland by the HETAC and in the UK by the Quality Assurance Agency. This was greeted with great interest by those attending and it will be interesting to track the adoption and subsequent impact of these documents, which are based on research and successful practice in entrepreneurship education. They reflect an increasing interest by both national governments and international agencies, such as the European Union and World Economic Forum, in the contribution and role of entrepreneurial education and development in economic recovery and growth.
So far as IJEBR is concerned, a presentation by Dr Sean Patrick Sassmannshausen at the ISBE Doctoral Day demonstrated from his research the impact generated at an international level by papers published in this journal. We hope to publish a paper by Dr Sassmannshausen summarising his findings in a later issue in this volume. It was also gratifying to meet and to hear from many researchers who had read about, and who warmly supported the Journal's renewed focus on exploring the human and social dynamics of entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, back in the UK, the same month saw the welcome announcement by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) that Warwick and Aston Universities had been chosen to host a new Enterprise Research Centre which will aim to develop understanding of the factors affecting business investment, performance and growth, and to become a national and international focal point for research, knowledge and expertise on small and medium-sized businesses. This centre benefits from a major investment from the ESRC, government and the banking industry. We wish Professors Stephen Roper, Mark Hart and their consortium every success in this very important work.
The need for this research to strengthen the links between evidence and practice, and to inform government policy and business practice for small and medium-sized enterprises, was reinforced by continuing bad news for the UK economy. As this editorial was written, the Chancellor had delivered his Autumn statement which again downrated the prospects for economic recovery and growth in the UK, confirmed that the budget deficit had increased, and that austerity and debt reduction will continue until at least 2018. In this dismal context, the roles of entrepreneurial individuals and organisations, and of innovation, investment and new ways of creating opportunity and value, have never been more important. In this journal we look forward to continuing to publish insightful, informative and academically rigorous work which contributes to such entrepreneurial development.
Higher Education Training & Awards Council (2012), Draft Guidelines and Key Criteria for the Review of Enterprise & Entrepreneurship Education (EEE), Dublin
Quality Assurance Agency (2012), Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education: Guidance for UK Higher Education Providers, Gloucester