Balancing politics and governance in entrepreneurial ecosystems

We often take entrepreneurial ecosystems—i.e., constellations of businesses, government organisations, and research and support institutions—for granted. However, the forces and tensions at work among these organisations point at high levels of political dynamism that call for governing structures and processes. This is particularly evident in new entrepreneurial ecosystems located in both developing and developed economies. As the rules of the game are not settled, any agreements between the stakeholders in a new ecosystem need to be negotiated. Such power struggles for stability and change require a policy approach in which politics and governance can support each other. This policy paper builds on the author’s involvement in the development of a new creative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Central Asia with support from the British Council and the University of Birmingham, and based on recent research paper published in the Entrepreneurship and Regional Development journal. The lessons learned can be valuable for the coordination of politics and governance in new, fast-changing entrepreneurial ecosystems in the UK and beyond.