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The Political Economy of Entrepreneurship (Module)

Module description

State support for start-ups and entrepreneurship is increasingly common. Developed, emerging and developing country governments are implementing a variety of policies and experimenting with different initiatives to support innovative business ventures (Fuller 2010; Lerner 2009; Breznitz 2007; OECD 2007).  The explicit or implicit goal is to replicate the Silicon Valley ecosystem and find the next Google or Uber - that is, a company that will develop a scalable business model in a few years. This is seen as the sign of a modern, creative and innovative economy ready to compete in the value-added activities of the global political economy. For emerging markets, it is seen as essential capacity building in order to escape the ‘middle income’ or ‘middle technology’ trap (Paus 2014; Wade 2010). The social promise of innovative-entrepreneurship is job creation, competitiveness in the knowledge-based economy and furthering productivity.

The module is comprised of two parts. The first engages with political economy scholarship framing why and how states intervene. It covers the case for new, small firms as drivers of innovation and job creation as well as neo-Schumpeterian thinking about the relationships between the size of firms and their innovativeness. We explore the variety of public policy measures available to promote innovation-centric entrepreneurship. The first portion closes with discussing the social considerations informing the design and implementation of purposive policy action; acknowledgement that the direct recipients of entrepreneurship support will be a reasonably tightly focused demographic while broader society will only be more diffuse benefactors.

In the second section of the module students, we shift to a “bottoms-up” view: the forms of entrepreneurship and their national and broader structural environs). Students will be trained in the varieties of entrepreneurship in the contemporary era (e.g. trends in social entrepreneurship, innovations in financing for entrepreneurship, challenges associated with post-capitalism and “too much innovation and national differences in entrepreneurship performance).

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Taught by: Robyn Klingler-Vidra

Teaching pattern

Taught in: Semester 2

Module assessment - more information

1 x 2,000 Word Essay (50%); 1 x 2,000 Word Individual Policy Report (40%); and 1 x Presentation (10%)

Key information

Module code 6YYD0015

Credit level 6

Assessment coursework presentation/s

Credit value 15 credits

Semester Semester 2 (spring)

Study abroad module Yes