Original Research

The role of government in promoting innovation-led entrepreneurial ecosystems

Danielle Nel-Sanders, Peta Thomas
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 10, No 1 | a640 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v10i1.640 | © 2022 Danielle Nel-Sanders, Peta Thomas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2022 | Published: 19 December 2022

About the author(s)

Danielle Nel-Sanders, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Peta Thomas, Department of Business Management, College of Business and Economics, School of Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) presents a number of implications for both the public and private sectors. An important feature of the 4IR is enhancing the sustainability of businesses through innovation.

Aim: This article examines the government’s entrepreneurial role in promoting innovation-led entrepreneurial ecosystems (EEs).

Setting: Through a comparative approach, the research presented in this article investigates the role of government in promoting innovation-led EEs, in a top-performing EE, namely Silicon Valley and South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative research design is adopted, and unobtrusive research methods are used for the conceptual, contextual and comparative analysis of authoritative literature and secondary data. A best practice case of Silicon Valley is used to analyse factors influencing innovation-led EE development in South Africa.

Results: Challenges currently influencing the growth and sustainability of entrepreneurship in South Africa are identified. These challenges include 4IR readiness, policy implementation and the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The findings suggest that governments should play an important role in shaping innovation-led EE policy implementation.

Conclusion: The article concludes by proposing a conceptual framework to aid managerial and policy guidance for the development of innovation-led EEs.

Contribution: The findings of this article will be useful to guide managerial and policy guidance on the role of government in shaping innovation-led EE policy implementation.


Keywords

entrepreneurial ecosystems; entrepreneurial government; Fourth Industrial Revolution; innovation; small and medium enterprises; South Africa; best practices

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