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Conceptualizing entrepreneurship as creative space 

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Publication date2011
Host publicationPresented at 4th EuroMed Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business, Elounda, Greece
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper reviews and challenges received conceptualizations of entrepreneurship. We find entrepreneurship too narrowly defined, the business contexts in which it is customarily applied limiting, and the focus of input measured as forms of capital and output measured as economic gain restrictive. It black-boxes what entrepreneurs really do, reveals little about the process or the phenomenon of entrepreneurship, and its application in contexts other than business unnecessarily imposes business values that are not appropriate in such contexts. We further argue for the use of case studies as a fruitful way of unpacking the entrepreneurial process, and offer an example of such a case study. The analysis of the case results in a conceptualization of entrepreneurship as creative space, with three interrelated and co-dependent process movements: conservation, coordination and creation. We suggest entrepreneurship as creative space as a productive metaphor in studying what entrepreneurs really do, and also recommend a return to the original definition of entrepreneurship as entreprendre, that is, to undertake something.