Foresight and STI Governance, 2021 (4) en-us Copyright 2021 Sun, 05 Dec 2021 20:35:49 +0300 Crisis as a Challenge and Enabler for Entrepreneurship: Lessons from the Pandemic Introductory article by the editor of the special issue Exploring the Governance of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems for Productive High Growth This paper aims to empirically identify the characteristics and governance types of regional entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs) associated with productive high-growth entrepreneurship (PHGE). We developed a unique database comprised of public statistics on high-growth enterprises and regional EEs in Poland over the course of 2011–2018. The Hierarchical Clustering on Principal Components and a taxonomic analysis were used to identify how different types of EE governance relate to varying levels of high-growth enterprises’ performance. We have identified and described the relationships between PHGE and diverse clusters of EE governance and evolution stages toward developed structures. Two clusters proved similarly effective in generating PHGE and they represent alternative EE governance solutions as well as the most advanced evolutionary phases. The proposed conceptualizations of productive high-growth entrepreneurship and EE governance types advance the understanding and measurement of these phenomena. The profiling and configurational approach adopted in this research reflects the heterogeneity of EE governance types and outcomes and can be further replicated in other research settings. Informal Entrepreneurship Education: Overview of the Russian Field This article analyzes the informal sector of entrepreneurial education — free “open” educational projects at the federal level in the context of broader trends in the development of education and society, including education’s ‘unbundling’. The search for information was carried out using the Internet, as a result 45 initiatives were discovered. The results show that the sector of entrepreneurship education is broad, but there are a large number of areas for improvement, in which universities can play an important role. In particular, this concerns elaborating and implementing a system for evaluating educational results, organizing monitoring of the effectiveness of such initiatives, including the analysis of success stories. In addition, a separate task is to expand the set of targeted programs for specific audiences (for example, unemployed), as well as to improve the content of such initiatives more deeply according to the specifics of the relevant target groups (for example, young mothers or older people). COVID-19 as Industry Forcing Function: Challenges for Entrepreneurship in the Post-Pandemic Future The COVID-19 crisis has changed how firms and industries do business – at least for now. What is uncertain, however, is the duration of that change. Will the industry change induced by the COVID-19 crisis persist and, if so, for how long? Can a crisis, and particularly the COVID-19 crisis, act as a more permanent change agent and create an environment that mimics the entrepreneurial opportunity that industry forcing functions create? If yes, then there is cause to consider the entrepreneurial opportunity that the COVID-19 crisis provides. In this paper, we review the changes that the pandemic has brought to business practices. Furthermore, we discuss the differences between crisis-based opportunity and entrepreneurial opportunity created by industry forcing functions in order to illuminate the ability of a COVID-19 crisis–induced Low Touch Economy to sustainably create entrepreneurial opportunities. We show examples and list the attributes of industry forcing functions that have already provided sustainable entrepreneurial opportunity. Then, we match these attributes with the factors pertaining to the COVID-19-related Low Touch Economy. We find that the COVID-19 crisis has similarities and differences to the traditional industry forcing functions started by disruptive technologies. However, unlike traditional industry forcing functions, the COVID-19 crisis acts in a pan-industrial manner, making the impact of the pandemic more profound. Furthermore, the timing of the pandemic is important too: the COVID-19 crisis struck during the emergence of a Schumpeterian wave of Industry 4.0 and accelerated the adoption of its most important harbingers. We provide researchers and practitioners a lens through which to review not only the COVID-19 crisis’s possibility of lasting effects, but also how it will affect entrepreneurs. The COVID-19 Pandemic and Entrepreneurship in Germany The COVID-19 pandemic severely affected not only incumbent firms, but also the emergence of start-ups. This paper investigates and analyzes the pandemic’s effect on new business formation, as well as business exits and insolvencies, in Germany. We find that the overall level of business registrations slightly decreased during the first year of the pandemic, but that the effect is specific to certain industries. Innovative manufacturing industries and technology-oriented services experienced an increase in the numbers of start-ups. High subsidies and a temporary suspension of important criteria obliging firms to declare insolvency weakened market selection resulting in fewer exits in 2020. The relaxation of insolvency regulations may lead to considerable numbers of ‘zombie’ firms. Generally, the pandemic re-enforced ongoing structural change, but also exerted specific effects that may be temporary in nature. A First Year’s Impact of the Pandemic on the Czech Entrepreneurial Activity Every crisis affects entrepreneurial activity; for some entrepreneurs, it is an opportunity for a new start; others are forced to shut down their businesses. This study aimed to analyze the effect of the global coronavirus (so-called COVID-19) pandemic on Czech entrepreneurial activity. The article exploits the administrative data covering business demographics of seventy-seven Local Administrative Units (LAU1) regions over the years 2008-2020. Data were obtained from the Czech Statistical Office. The study provides insights into the short term effects of the pandemic, i.e. one year after. The results from the panel regression models and placebo tests comparing forecasted values of new businesses registrations and closures with actual values obtained after the end of 2020 do not show that there would be a significant drop in the Czech entrepreneurial activity. On the opposite, the data indicate that the Czech entrepreneurial activity grew and even increased compared with 2019. However, the obtained results need to be interpreted with caution, as many factors influenced Czech businesses’ development. Specifically, we mention the past economic growth, the introduction of public entrepreneurship and SME policy instruments and financial back-ups of the business owners. There are several implications of the conducted research. For instance, there is a need to observe the long-term effects of the pandemic on business demography and its structure. We propose to study changes in bankruptcy rates in the most harmed sectors such as tourism, hospitality, culture or sport and compare them with sectors that could easier transfer their business activities online. Pandemic Challenges for the Technological Startups in the Russian Regions Technological startups help to adapt to the global risks and allow one to track future trends. This paper identifies the main trends and birth factors of new high-tech companies in the Russian regions during 2013-2020. In 2020, fewer than 10,000 startups were created, this number has been steadily declining (by 40% since 2015), especially during the pandemic (-21%). Most of the startups are concentrated in Moscow, the Moscow region, St Petersburg, and the largest metropolitan areas. The share of the Leningrad, Belgorod, Kaliningrad, Lipetsk, Ulyanovsk, and Kaluga regions is growing due to the proactive policies of local authorities. Most startups are associated with knowledge-intensive services for business (B2B) and digital technologies. In 2020, their number increased in pharmaceuticals (about 100%) and in the production of medical devices (by about 30%).Based on the results of econometric analysis, start-up activity in Russia, analogous to countries with an established market economy, depends upon human capital concentration, market access, and a favorable business climate. Universities, through attracting students, especially those in STEM specialties, stimulate startup creation; although the share of university startups does not exceed one third of a percent. Budgetary and university expenditures on R&D are ineffective in terms of creating new companies. The influence of development institutions on start-up activity was not found, while clusters and technology parks have a weak effect. The growth of startups is lower in regions with a predominance of large organizations, as well as in resource centers. The latter may be one of the manifestations of the “resource curse”. Startup activity is stable over time and depends on the situation in neighboring regions, which limits the chances to change the situation by means of entrepreneurship support policy. During the pandemic, start-up activity decreased minimally in regions with large metropolitan areas and a high level of education. Recommendations include tools for establishing a more balanced cross-regional situation by implementing the model of an entrepreneurial university, an expansion of start-ups’ access to capital and markets, and the regionalization of entrepreneurship policies. The Resilience and Adaptative Strategies of Italian Cooperatives during the COVID-19 Pandemic Third sector organizations, like the rest of the economic system, have been heavily affected by the pandemic. The aim of this work is to study resilience and adaptability to crisis in terms of economic results and innovative outcomes of the cooperative business model in the Italian third sector during the COVID pandemic. It uses new evidence from a recent survey on the Italian third sector and consists of two main parts. In the first, the institutionalist literature on contractual failures is assumed as an interpretative key in the comparison between the business model, governance, and routines in social cooperatives versus other non-profit organizations (NPOs) interpreted as third sector entities. In the second, we use the new data from a third sector survey in the Marche region, collected in the late spring of 2021 at the end of the pandemic outbreak. Empirical assumptions concern organizational resilience and adaptation to unexpected negative shocks in cooperatives and other NPOs. The results show that, in the management of the crisis, cooperatives are better able to preserve their human capital and resort to layoffs less often than other NPOs. Shared decision-making, employee involvement, and the adaptability of the work process emerge as dominant organizational characteristics that support resilience and service innovation in cooperatives. The main policy implication concerns the ability of cooperatives to play a stabilizing and a-cyclical role during the crisis and to fill the supply gaps left open by other organizational forms (private, non-profit and the public sector). The originality of the paper lies in its new approach to cooperative organization and in the analysis of the reaction of cooperatives to the pandemic.