Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FIRES (Financial and Institutional Reforms for the Entrepreneurial Society)
Berichtszeitraum: 2016-06-01 bis 2018-05-31
An Entrepreneurial Society allocates talent, finance, labour and knowledge to small scale, early stage, experimental economic activity and promotes an entrepreneurial attitude among European business owners, employees, citizens and policy makers alike. Our project has shown an Entrepreneurial Society to create jobs, opportunities and well-being while helping Europe to maintain its competitive position in global markets and develop the solution for the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century (WP3).
We also recognise, however, that designing and implementing institutional reforms to achieve such a transition must be different across the Union. The starting positions have historically evolved and are deeply rooted in history and culture (WP2). Moreover, case studies (WP5) illustrate the general point that deep historical roots, co-evolved institutional complementarities and global megatrends are important to map out before reform proposals can be considered. Anyone proposing a one-size-fit-all approach to promoting entrepreneurship in Europe makes a false start.
This sits somewhat uncomfortably with the general approach in economics and economic geography, where researchers implicitly or explicitly assume that the same model applies across space and time. In light of the above, such research should be treated with caution. FIRES-research nonetheless has shown that job creation, well-being, pro-social behaviour, corporate responsibility, smart-specialization, growth and innovation all correlate positively with entrepreneurial activity in Europe and thus convincingly established the urgency and desirability of making the transition to a more open and entrepreneurial economy.
To help policy makers identify priorities, we have developed a tool (WP4) then summarizes the quality of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a single index. The value of this index lies in its ability to identify bottlenecks in the ecosystem and highlight priorities for tailored reform strategies. To complement the algorithmic, databased diagnostic tool the FIRES-project also collected new, more qualitative data from surveys across three European members states. This dataset contains detailed information about start up processes across institutional complexes. Careful analysis allowed us to triangulate our data based diagnosis with more direct and qualitative information for Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom. By confronting a thorough diagnosis of the state and functioning of the ecosystem with a long list of possible policy interventions and reform proposals that was developed in close dialogue with different stakeholder groups, we then illustrated the building of a tailored reform strategy for these member states in three country studies and corresponding policy briefs that were presented to national policy makers in the member states themselves.
An elaborate legal and political assessment, in which the entrepreneurship policy landscape in Europe was first mapped out and then legal competencies and political feasibility of the FIRES reform proposals were assessed, completed the work.
FIRES is unique in its multi- and transdisciplinary approach. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as geography, law, history, economics, business and innovation management engaged with stakeholders along the way. The research was fine-tuned and drafted with stakeholders with appositive stake in the entrepreneurial society, whereas reform proposals were discussed with representatives of the groups that are likely to experience or have to implement the largest changes to shape the transition. Finally the resulting reform strategies were discussed intensively with policy makers at the regional, national and European levels.