ECIE Keynote Speaker Outlines

The following are outlines for the Keynote Speeches which will take place at ECIE 2022

Entrepreneurship and Innovation for Social Purpose: Learning from research, policy and practice

Led by Prof. Artur Steiner

Over the last decades, entrepreneurship and social innovation has been increasingly promoted in public policy debates as a vehicle to developing innovative and efficient solutions addressing societal needs. When combined with entrepreneurship, social innovation has been presented as a distinctive and effective response to a welfare crisis, and is perceived in policy debates as a novel way of working that promotes collaborations between citizens, enterprises, and public actors, and a platform that enhances the co-delivery of public services in a more efficient manner. However, despite this growing momentum in policy and public debate, social innovation remains a contested concept, and its application in entrepreneurship is far from straightforward.

 Using empirical evidence from a Social Innovation project funded by the European Union and Scottish Government, this presentation discusses links between entrepreneurship and social innovation policy, and research and practice, commenting on what works and what doesn’t, for who and in which circumstances. The presentation will critique the tacit assumption that ‘start-up’ funding alone can produce sustainability among socially innovative entrepreneurial ventures. Instead, in conjunction with social finance, there is a need to provide appropriate business development support if the state expects socially entrepreneurial business ventures to achieve some degree of financial independence. The presentation shows that the state should be prepared to provide long-term investments of different kinds to enterprises supporting social innovation, particularly those serving high-need groups.

Reconstructing the Entrepreneurial Landscape

Led by Professor Robert Newbery, Northumbria University

Prior to the pandemic, a place-led perspective of entrepreneurial development was important, given developing narratives around entrepreneurial ecosystems, contexts and the design of entrepreneurial institutions. In a post-pandemic world filled with local responses to crisis and often problematic implementation of national policy, a place-led view of entrepreneurship has arguably become a necessity.

Drawing from a new edited book that explores Entrepreneurial Place Leadership, in this keynote Professor Newbery will explore how the complex entrepreneurial landscape may be reconstructed following the crisis. Here we will take a journey through locations imbued with entrepreneurial meaning: looking at how they are created, maintained, exploited and amplified to generate future value. Examples provided by international scholars provide guidance, as we journey through a heterogeneous entrepreneurial landscape of individual dwellings, communities and planned settlements.

We will reflect upon the contribution of these examples to academic theory and make policy and practice recommendations on how to cultivate the correct conditions for a future entrepreneurial landscape.

Green Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development in the Post Pandemic Era: The Case of Greece

Led by Professor Panagiotis Liargovas University of Peloponnese and Centre of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE)

Greece is made up of a very large number of micro enterprises. Small and medium-sized enterprises and, in particular, micro and small enterprises, play a key role in the economy, employment and the overall development. And, of course, in Greece SMEs have acted to mitigate the painful economic and social consequences of the crisis, both economic and pandemic. The future of Greek SMEs is intertwined with the green economy and green entrepreneurship. Greece has a comparative advantage over other countries for the use of renewable energy sources (sunshine, high wind intensities especially on the islands, etc.), the use of ecotourism (one of the richest ecosystems in the world), but also much room for improvement in other green sectors such as the energy upgrade of buildings, the circular economy through good waste management, etc. The main benefits that the Greek economy will reap from a "shift" of businesses to environmental practices are (a) Saving energy, reducing imported quantities, reducing trade deficit, increasing domestic energy self-sufficiency; (b) Creating competitive products/services - Increasing exports and tourist flows - Reducing the trade deficit; (c)Attracting foreign capital and (d) Reducing unemployment. The development of "Green Entrepreneurship" is one-way street for modern societies and the state must take care of it, as the results will be beneficial for citizens, businesses and the country's economy.

Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Small Business Management: post pandemic perspectives

Led by Professor Paul Jones

This keynote will consider the current global environment and its impact on entrepreneurial behaviour and potential areas for novel research in entrepreneurship and small business management. The business world has undertaken some seismic changes in recent years. In Europe, we have experienced the combined impact of Covid, Brexit and the Ukrainian war.  These changes have resulted in significant changes on the small business sector and working behaviours. The small business sector and society are witnessing challenging economic times with rising inflation and extreme cost of living price increases. Furthermore, the global climate crisis potentially requires major changes in the small business sector, both in the short and long term. The ongoing reduction in public services places additional challenges for local communities to cope and survive. The small business sector has had to demonstrate extraordinary resilience to survive this period.  These impacts both individually and collectively offer a significant juncture in how entrepreneurial behaviour is changing potentially for ever. Societal drivers have included increased technological adoption driving change in entrepreneurial behaviour, changes in workplaces behaviours and location and the transition to electric vehicles. The trend away from neo liberal business behaviours towards more environmental mindsets will continue. Moreover, anti-globalisation mindsets driven by increased supply chain pressures will require society to adopt different consumer behaviours. Such changes offer opportunities for novel research in observing and reporting entrepreneurial behaviour which are outlined in this talk.