From resource munificence to ecosystem integration: the case of government sponsorship in St. Louis

AbstractGovernment sponsorship of entrepreneurship has become a popular policy tool in the last 15 years. Despite this popularity, past academic studies have largely focused on firm-level survival rates and treated the effects of government sponsorship in isolation, which fails to capture the full effect of the sponsorship. That is, the objectives of the public sector include enhancing the macro-level entrepreneurial environment of the region as well as the success of individual firms. We expand research in this area through a case study in St. Louis, Missouri. We focus on the Arch Grants, a public?private coalition that provides $50,000 to 20 winners through their annual competition. Based on interviews of 46 recipient firms and 15 support organizations, we first demonstrate how government sponsorship can create a cohort of entrepreneurs who are able to learn from each other about business strategy, local mentors and other resources. Second, we uncover the process through which sponsorship can facilitate coordination among local entrepreneurship support organizations. Thus, we conclude that the evaluation of government sponsorship should go beyond the traditional firm-level performance measurement and consider the integration and enhancement of the local entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Journal or Publication:
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Yasuyuki Motoyama
Karren Knowlton
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