Entrepreneurship Policy : Public Support for Technology-Based Ventures

Abstract: The subject of this thesis is entrepreneurship policy and the focus is on public support programmes directed to early stages technology-based ventures. It advocates that a broad view should be taken with regard to the type of policies for entrepreneurship that aim at supporting the facilitation of the supported ventures’ ability to link to their surrounding innovation system, in which they can secure their access to crucial external resources. Taking the departure in the perspective that early stages technology-based ventures are vulnerable, this thesis shows that publicly financed entrepreneurship supporting programmes can be motivated because small and newly started ventures have got limited resources, and because the risks, with which they are associated, generally make them unattractive in the eyes of private actors.Among the practical implications of this thesis, the following findings are emphasised: Public support, directed to the very earliest stages of venture development benefits from broadness, for the latter stages, specialisation and a higher degree of selectiveness could be an advantage. Moreover, it is important that the support provided take into account the whole process of business development, i.e. both the issues concerned with product/service and the issues connected to the market. A long-term commitment, cooperation between different actors and information about what support is available, are other aspects that are important for policymakers to consider in their design of public policies to support entrepreneurship. Finally, the importance of evaluative awareness must be emphasised from the very start.