ACE Team at BCERC 2016

The Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (BCERC), founded by Babson College in 1981, is considered the world’s leading entrepreneurship research conference. BCERC 2016 was held at Nord University Business School in Bodø (Norway). ACE’s Per Davidsson, Annelore Huyghe, Jaehu Shim, Paul Steffens and Kunlin Xu traveled to the land of the midnight sun to present their work and to receive valuable feedback from peers.

Popular themes in the conference program – a total of 222 papers – were: Read more

Disrupting Law and Enabling Entrepreneurship


Preparations @QUTTheCube for Disrupting Law by QUT Starters and The Legal ForecastDL_Sunday_evening_sold_out_audience_for_pitches

Disrupting Law and Enabling Entrepreneurship: an Insider Perspective from ACE

Young entrepreneurs from QUT Starters joined forces with budding legal professionals at The Legal Forecast to host Queensland’s first legal innovation hackathon from August 5-7 at QUT.

According to coverage of the #DisruptingLaw event, hackathon participants demonstrated ‘collaborative excellence’ and ‘impressed members of the legal profession’ with the quality of ideas pitched.

The Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship (ACE) was proud to be one of the many supporters of the event and accompany and assist its organisers along the journey. Read more

ACE GEM Research published as an opinion piece with CNN

 ACE’s recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report received media coverage with CNN last week.  Here is the opinion piece by Associate Professor Paul Steffens, deputy director of ACE:



Essentially the report outlines Australia’s impressive recent entrepreneurial performance.  The full  report can be found here: 

GEM Report

What is GEM

In 2011, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) study was conducted across 54 countries. Over 140,000 adults aged between 18 and 64, including 2,000 in Australia were interviewed. GEM differs from other studies in that by surveying the adult population, it identifies entrepreneurs at the very earliest stages of new business creation.


  • Australia’s entrepreneurship rate is second only to the USA amongst developed countries
  • We estimate that 10.5% of the Australian adult population were actively engaged in starting and running new businesses in 2011. This equates to 1.48 million early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Of the estimated 1.48 million early-stage entrepreneurs:

      *   40% or 590,000 were women

      *   33% or 580,000 expected to creates at least 5 new jobs in the next 5 years

      *   11% or 170,000 expected to create 20 or more new jobs in the next 5 years

  • Australia also ranks above average for employee entrepreneurial activity in established firms. An estimated 5.0% of the adult population is engaged in developing or launching new products, a new business unit or subsidiary for their employer.
  • Australia was one of only three developed countries, together with the US and Netherlands, that ranked above average for both entrepreneurship rate and employee entrepreneurial activity
  • Australia outperforms most other developed economies on indicators of the quality and economic impact of its business start-ups, including growth aspirations, number of opportunity-driven start-ups and innovativeness
  • The vast majority of start-ups in Australia are founded based on a desire to take advantage of perceived opportunities with only 1 in 5 new ventures started through necessity –
  • While the global economic slowdown (GFC) clearly increased the level of necessity driven entrepreneurship in Australia, this increase is not as strong as that experienced in the USA.
  • Approximately 50% of the Australians believe that good opportunities exist for the establishment of new ventures, and that they possess the skills to start a business. This is well above international averages.
  • International orientation is below average for Australian early state entrepreneurs, most likely due to the geographic distance to international markets
  • Australian entrepreneurship is comparatively inclusive. For example, at 8.4% the female total entrepreneurial activity is second only to the USA.


Can microcredit effectively solve the issues micro-entrepreneurs living in poor conditions face

The theme of the fourth edition of the 14th volume of the FSR Forum is Microfinance. In this edition the article by ACE Researchers, Marcello Tonelli and Carol Dalglish is one of three that addresses this delicate issue in terms that are easy to understand by practitioners.  The piece questions whether Microcredit can effectively solve the issues micro-entrepreneurs living in poor conditions face. Important to note is that this article only criticizes specific aspects of Microcredit instead of Microfinance as a whole. The authors conclude with a model implemented in Mozambique, which in their opinion forms a good example for other African countries.  Read more articles in relation to Dr Tonelli and Associate Professor Dalglish’s research.

Can experiential learning lead to the making of an entrepreneurial mindset?

Is entrepreneurship a discipline that can be taught and learnt? The thousands of entrepreneurship courses available around the world would seem to support this line of thinking, but research findings in both developed and developing countries have been inconsistent in estimating the effectiveness of education and training on entrepreneurial attitudes, activity, and aspirations.

It seems in fact that improvements in either tacit or explicit knowledge carry weak consequences for entrepreneurial success, despite the recognition that knowledge in itself increases the cognitive abilities of individuals, leading to more productive potential activity. Under what conditions this potential can be funnelled into successful entrepreneurial activities is a different question.  Read more.

Exploring the “Dark Side” of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is often understood to be inherently ‘good’. Terms often associated with entrepreneurship comprise the gamut of favourable connotations from “innovation” and “change” to “growth” and “economic development”. However, if we understand entrepreneurship as being about the discovery and exploitation of opportunities, there really is not necessarily any moral good in entrepreneurship per se

The present research project tried to empirically trace three instances of “dark” entrepreneurship, that is to say, entrepreneurship that is both illegal and covert, for which such data is historically available. Assuming that in order for people to consider “dark entrepreneurship” such efforts should be resilient against attempts to disrupt the venture, our focus is on what makes “dark networks” (one example of dark entrepreneurship) resilient.  Read more.

Schumpeter opens up new opportunities for entrepreneurship scholars

The biannual Schumpeter conference, held in Brisbane from July 2-5, opened up new opportunities for entrepreneurship scholars for collaboration with the broader evolutionary economics community. The conference brought together more than 200 delegates for a couple of days of lively discussion and debate at the University of Queensland. The Australian Centre of Entrepreneurship was a proud sponsor of this conference.

One of the key topics discussed at the conference was the future development of the scholarly field of evolutionary economics. Thereby, evolutionary economics seems to move into the direction of entrepreneurship. To cite one of the fields’ key contributors, evolutionary economics mainly “focuses on the processes that transform the economy from within and on their consequences for firms and industries, production, trade, employment and growth” (Witt, U. 2008). Thereby the field has emphasized and popularized the importance of innovation in the scientific community as well as among policy makers.

An often stated complaint at the conference was the lack of a micro-foundation of the underlying processes and the behavior of firms. And here is where entrepreneurship scholars from management schools might be able to contribute. As the early Schumpeter (1911/1934), I’m convinced that entrepreneurship is one of the processes which induce change in economic systems. We as entrepreneurship scholars have accumulated a body of knowledge about the determinants of individual entrepreneurial activity which might be useful for the micro foundation of evolutionary economics.

Interestingly, also entrepreneurship seems to move closer towards evolutionary economics. Intrapreneurship – one of the emerging streams within the field of entrepreneurship – investigates entrepreneurial behavior including the development and introduction of new products in existing firms. This is exactly what evolutionary economists have termed innovation. Entrepreneurship scholars interested in intrapreneurship are well advised to consult the relevant literature or even seek collaborations with evolutionary economists.

There are promising signs for the potential of interdisciplinary cooperation. At the Schumpeter conference roughly a quarter of the presented paper dealt with entrepreneurship. Furthermore high tier economic journal such as Journal of Evolutionary Economics and Research Policy increasingly publish entrepreneurship articles. As a starting point for interested entrepreneurship scholars, introduces the main ideas of and contributors to evolutionary economics. Uwe Cantner ( and Ullrich Witt ( are key players in evolutionary economics who have published entrepreneurship articles and are always open for discussing new ideas.

Witt, Ulrich (2008). Evolutionary economics. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd Edition, v. 3, pp. 67-68.

Schumpeter, J. (1911). Theorie der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung (transl. 1934, The Theory of Economic Development: An inquiry into profits, capital, credit, interest and the business cycle).

Michael Stuetzer

Research to Practise – Challenges for Scholars

Entrepreneurship research is growing and developing.

As it aims to,  and is succeeding at gaining increased academic respectability, it also perhaps continues to struggle to strike the balance in trying to sustain and hopefully improve its relevance to practice.

Our colleague Tim Mazzarol at the University of Western Australia shares some thoughts about these issues – Click to read


Transformational Entrepreneurship: Startup Genome Project

The Startup Genome released an essay on Harvard Business Review Blogs called Transformational Entrepreneurship: Where Technology Meets Societal Impact.

The essay describes how entrepreneurship is increasingly becoming the world’s primary source of socioeconomic value creation and how a new class of entrepreneurship, which the Startup Genome is calling Transformational Entrepreneurship, is taking center stage by synthesizing the scalable tools of Technology Entrepreneurship with the world-centric value system of Social Entrepreneurship.

Check out the essay on HBR here:

Or the longer version on their blog: