The buzz before business: a design science study of a sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


This paper examines how entrepreneurial opportunities co-evolve within a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem (SEE). Most of the literature on entrepreneurial ecosystems falls short on integrating the entrepreneurial process in empirical research. To analyze data collected from pre-start-up teams within a nascent SEE on high-tech cellulose-based materials over 3 years, we apply a design science approach that helps understand actors’ collaborative sensemaking in designing and structuring ecosystem features and relationships. Our findings show that the SEE can be seen as a design artifact which evolves by ecosystem actors collectively engaging in new venture ideation and developing opportunity confidence. Furthermore, the paper presents a novel SEE framework, which elaborates on phases and enablers of the opportunity co-evolution process within an emerging ecosystem. We contribute to the literature on sustainable as well as general entrepreneurial ecosystems and offer a new theoretical foundation for a process view on ecosystems.

ZeitschriftSmall Business Economics
Seiten (von - bis)1097–1120
Anzahl der Seiten24
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.02.2021
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

Open access funding provided by LUT University. This study is part of the research project DWoC 2.0, funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), and also supported by “Package Heroes” Academy of Finland/Strategic Research Council (grant no: 320217).