Ecosystem pipelines: Collective action in entrepreneurial ecosystems


Entrepreneurial ecosystems comprise a range of different actors, structures and processes that support entrepreneurs in starting and growing their ventures. They are governed through collective action, which helps ecosystem actors achieve common goals that otherwise would be beyond the scope of their individual abilities. However, we have a limited understanding of the key mechanisms through which they organise their interactions. This article explores how ecosystem actors engage in collective action based on a case study of the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem. The main contribution is the introduction of a novel ecosystem governance mechanism coined ‘ecosystem pipelines’, which are logical pathways between ecosystem actors through which entrepreneurs can access support and resources as they progress their ventures. This article highlights that entrepreneurial ecosystems are purpose-driven networks based on horizontal relationship building among actors – as opposed to top-down or bottom-up organising – in pursuit of a common purpose to promote entrepreneurship.

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