Applying the ecosystem model in a new context? The case of business incubation in Oman
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This paper studies entrepreneurship ecosystem development in a context little discussed in the extant literature to date: Oman. Specifically, it focuses on business incubation (BI) initiatives as a policy tool for developing the local, regional, and national systems of supporting entrepreneurship and SME growth. Although BI’s are a popular policy measure for ecosystem development, spreading globally from their original conception in the United States around 60 years ago, their universal effectiveness is questioned. We analyse the tenability of BI as an economic development strategy by entrepreneurship ecosystems as a conceptual framework to help us understand the multitudinous cultural, institutional, and governance structures required for success. Specifically, we consider these ecosystem dynamics and their influence on the incubation of SMEs in the novel context of an oil‐rich yet transitioning economy such as Oman. Conducting interviews with 22 key informants within a range of ecosystem actors (policy‐makers, incubator managers, academics, and entrepreneurs) we find that existing capabilities within the Omani BI programme are not yet fully fit for purpose, highlighting the need to establish developmental priorities for the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem, bottom‐up. Finally, we reflect on the wider cultural and institutional constraints highlighted, and suggest potentially fruitful avenues for further research.
Growth and Change;
Al‐Baimani, N., Clifton, N., Jones, E. and Pugh, R. (2021) 'Applying the ecosystem model in a new context? The case of business incubation in Oman', Growth and Change. https://doi.org/10.1111/grow.12471
Article published in Growth and Change available open access at https://doi.org/10.1111/grow.12471
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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