La Trobe

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Student entrepreneurship ecosystems at Australian higher education institutions

journal contribution
posted on 2022-02-03, 22:18 authored by Alex MaritzAlex Maritz, Quan Nguyen, Sergey Ivanov
Purpose: Despite the significance, university student start-ups and student entrepreneurship ecosystems (SEEs) have been subject to little research. This study aims to apply a qualitative emergent enquiry approach to explore best practice SEEs in Australia, complimented by narratives from leading scholars in higher education institutions with the aim of delineating the integrative components of SEEs.
Design/methodology/approach: Adopting the entrepreneurial ecosystem framework and aligned to the social cognitive theory, this paper explores the components and dynamics of SEEs, contributing to an understanding of how such components can better support the growth, sustainability and success of student start-ups. The authors extend entrepreneurship research on social construction using narrative research.
Findings: The findings provide guidelines for researchers, entrepreneurship scholars and educators, entrepreneurship students, policymakers and practitioners to enhance the impact and success of university student start-ups by adopting a student ecosystem approach.
Research limitations/implications: The narratives represent a limited number of universities with an opportunity for further research to empirically measure the impact and outcomes of SEEs. The research is exploratory, inherently conceptual and emergent, providing an opportunity for validation of narrative frameworks in future studies.
Practical implications: The findings may assist university managers to be more aware of their own subconscious preferences to student entrepreneurship and start-up initiatives, which may be useful in refining their impact and offerings regarding a quest toward the entrepreneurial university.
Social implications: From social perspectives, the alignment of the components of SEE has the ability to enhance and shift the entrepreneurial mindset of entrepreneurship students, notwithstanding enhancement of intentionality and self-efficacy.
Originality/value: This is the first study of SEEs in Australia, highlighting the importance of the integration of entrepreneurship education programs, entrepreneurship education ecosystems, the entrepreneurial university and specific start-up initiatives such as university accelerators. Furthermore, students may enhance their entrepreneurial mindset by actively engaging in such ecosystems.


Publication Date



Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development







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