JCU Logo


COURSE NAME: "Entrepreneurial Ecosystems"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Alina Sorgner
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 3:00 PM 4:15 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing

This course considers some of the most important issues concerning contemporary challenges in the field of entrepreneurship. Students will be confronted with interdisciplinary perspectives to the study of entrepreneurship that stem from economics, psychology, geography, history, cultural studies, and policy making, to better understand the emergence and the determinants of entrepreneurial ecosystems.
This course examines some of the most important contemporary issues in the field of entrepreneurship that can be approached from a number of disciplines such that a familiarity with the debates in those disciplines can get developed and one's understanding of the nature of entrepreneurship and its importance for well-being of individuals and societies can be improved. The aim of the course is to understand the emergence and the determinants of complex entrepreneurial ecosystems.
In the first part of the course, we will study the role of an individual in entrepreneurial ecosystems, e.g. psychological and biological characteristics of entrepreneurs; determinants of successful entrepreneurship including early entrepreneurial career development in the childhood, role models in the family, human and social capital, and the importance of geographical location of a start-up, among others. We will further consider particularities of female entrepreneurship, ethnic entreprenurship, social entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. Last but not least, we will study the relationship between entrepreneurhsip and individual well-being, for instance, in terms of life and job satisfaction, as well as entrepreneurial incomes and health issues.
In the second part of the course, we will focus on regional entrepreneurial ecosystems and the role of entrepreneurship for economic welfare. We will consider historical examples of productive, unproductive and even destructive entrepreneurship, study the role of regional culture and legacies of anti-entrepreneurial political regimes for the current level of entrepreneurial activities. Moreover, we will discuss the role of entrepreneurship for regional economic development, e.g. job creation and innovation activities. Last but not least, we will investigate the currently occurring move of developed economies toward more entrepreneurial societies and we will discuss various pro-entrepreneurial public policies.
By the end of the course you will be able to:
- understand entrepreneurship from an interdisciplinary point of view and you will become familiar with current issues in the field;
- employ theoretical approaches to explain the occurrence and the level of entrepreneurship in a society;
- develop knowledge about the determinants of successful entrepreneurship;
- understand the role of entrepreneurship for well-being of individuals and societies;
- explain and analyze course material orally and in written forms;
- make appropriate use of original and academic resources and undertake guided research work.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
The Economics of EntrepreneurshipParker, S.C.Cambridge University Press978-1-316-62171-4     

Class participationAttendance, preparation, engagement in the class discussion10%
Midterm examBrief essay questions on the material covered in the first half of the semester20%
PresentationsIn-class presentation: Students are required to give a short individual paper presentation (15-20 minutes). 20%
Final examBrief essay questions on the material covered in the course20%
Final projectThe final paper (3,000 words) will be on any topic of the student’s choice related to the class program different from the topic of presentation. The topic should be precisely defined and worthy of investigation. The deadline is the last class. No materials will be accepted past the deadline. 30%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course. 94 to 100 A; 90 to 93 A-
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments. 87 to 89 B+; 84 to 86 B; 80 to 83 B-
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings. 77 to 79 C+; 74 to 76 C; 70-73 C-
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail. 67 to 69 D+; 64 to 66 D; 60-63 D-
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant. 0 to 59 F

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs until ____________
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Week 1 & 2:
- Introduction to the interdisciplinary study of entrepreneurship. Defining and measuring entrepreneurship. Overview of entrepreneurial activities across countries.
Week 3:
- Psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs. Behavioral biases and entrepreneurship. Opportunity recognition and creativity.
Week 4 & 5:
- Development of entrepreneurial abilities. Human and social capital. Role models of entrepreneurship. Intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial performance. Entrepreneurial survival, incomes, job creation. Entrepreneurship and individual well-being.
Week 6 & 7:
-  Global megatrends and entrepreneurship: gender equality, population aging, migration. Midterm exam.
Week 8 & 9:
- Macroeconomic determinants of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship during economic crises (e.g., Covid-19). Formal institutions and entrepreneurship.
Week 10 & 11:
- Clusters of entrepreneurial activity.The knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship. Spin-offs and academic entrepreneurship. The role of regional culture of entrepreneurship.
Week 12 & 13:
- The role of entrepreneurship for regional economic development. Entrepreneurship policy.
Week 14:
- Review for final examination. Final exam.