The papers in this special issue explore the rapid growth of venture development organizations globally. A consistent theme that runs throughout the contributions is that, while ecosystem development is necessary everywhere to enhance the economic impact of entrepreneurship, in emerging economies, contextualization is critical. Countries have idiosyncratic histories and development trajectories. Myriad stakeholders participate and shape local ecosystems. To illustrate, this introduction provides an overview of some key venture development initiatives in South Africa, and we consider how venture development organizations, particularly those based at academic institutions, could contribute to the development of the country's entrepreneurial ecosystem. We provide suggestions for policy initiatives and academic research.
- entrepreneurship ecosystems
- venture development organizations (VDO)
- venture support organizations