Case Study on Entrepreneurship Policy in Hamburg Published
In September 2020, I attended the 15th European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship ECIE 2020 hosted by Università degli Studi Internazionali di Roma (UNINT) in Rome, Italy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference was held in a remote format and presented my case study called “Policy Making Versus Policy Research: The Case of Entrepreneurship Policy in Hamburg” via ZOOM.
Public Policy agendas can be aimed at shifting the economic composition of a region. It is common among policy makers to promote entrepreneurship based on the notion that new ventures have impact on economic growth and job creation. This link is highly debated in academic literature and it seems questionable to which extend policy is informed by this debate. This case study explores (dis)connects between regional entrepreneurship policy in the City of Hamburg (Germany) and academic literature. Hamburg has articulated a “Regional Innovation Strategy 2020”, which summarises the regional government’s general approach towards entrepreneurship. First, this paper reviews and summarizes most salient points of the strategy through which it aims to achieve its goal of stimulating economic growth. Second, this paper reframes relevant features of the strategy from an academic perspective, calling on arguments by Ács & Mueller (2008), Ács et al. (2014), Autio et al. (2007), Autio & Rannikko (2016), Brown & Mawson (2015), Henrekson & Johansson (2009), Shane (2008, 2009) and others. The paper illustrates several disconnects between formulated strategy and literature on entrepreneurship policy and how relevant findings from scientific research have not been considered in the policy formation. Additionally, the paper reveals further deficiencies regarding strategy implementation and proposed metrics. The case study exemplifies challenges in regional policy formation and highlights the need for further research on regional policy discourse to better understand the policy formation process in Hamburg.
The paper is connected to previous publications about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sydney Australia and associated public policy agenda as well as media/IT cluster initiatives and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hamburg, Germany and the regional public policy agenda towards innovation and entrepreneurship. Since 2017 I am working on an extended research project for my PhD in collaboration with University of West Scotland (UWS), focussing on the entrepreneurship policy discourse in Hamburg and inherent sociotechnical imaginaries.