European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Engaged entrepreneurship research in Europe

ECSB is offering to its members a webinar with Dr. Ben Spigel (University of Edinburgh Business School) on “Learning as the Key Activity of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems” on 16 June 2021 at 3:00-4:00 pm (CEST).

As the literature on entrepreneurial ecosystem develops, we are beginning to move on from defining what entrepreneurial ecosystem are to studying how they work. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are more than just collections of different startup resources but complex communities of different actors, each with their own goals and influences. To understand how these communities actually support scale-up entrepreneurship we need to better understand the processes through which ecosystems create, attract, and circulate resources critical to the entrepreneurship process and how these processes differ between ecosystems. Drawing on a qualitative comparative case study of Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, I identify learning as the key process powering scaling in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Interviews show the importance of co-active vicarious learning  within the ecosystem in how entrepreneurs develop scale-up know-how. However, the ability and willingness of entrepreneurs to engage in this learning is affected by an ecosystem’s culture and norms. This learning perspective of ecosystems creates a more grounded way to understand not just what entrepreneurial ecosystems are, but how they work and how they change over time.


Ben Spigel is a senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh Business School. An economic geographer by training, he received his PhD in geography from the University of Toronto in 2013. His work focuses on the geography of innovative entrepreneurship and regional economic development strategies. He is currently the PI of the ERICC project, an ESRC-funded project looking at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on high-growth entrepreneurs. 


Participation in the event is free for ECSB and ISBE members. Your membership status will be checked prior the event and participants with a valid membership will receive a link to access the event. If you are not a member, become an ECSB member and join the ECSB community on or join ISBE on

Register here by 15 June 2021