عنوان مقاله [English]
Entrepreneurship ecosystems are a combination of social, political, economic and cultural elements in a region that support the development and growth of startups, encouraging budding entrepreneurs and other actors to accept the risks of starting and financing a business. It is believed that the entrepreneurial economy, achieved through entrepreneurial ecosystem must replace the entrepreneurial policy, Therefore the regional policies for entrepreneurship are currently transitioning from an increase in the amount of entrepreneurship to an increase in the quality of entrepreneurship. The present study aims to identify the entrepreneurial ecosystem of IT startups in South Khorasan. the research has been done in qualitative method using the theme analysis technique. The data were collected through open and semi- structured interviews conducted with a group of IT workers. Primary and secondary themes were identified through examining data. The result of this study revealed the entrepreneurial ecosystem pattern of the IT startups in South Khorasan. Entrepreneurial culture and risk takin, government, market, new knowledge, the specialist human force, infrastructure, financial services, networking and industry are components of the entrepreneurial ecosystem model of south Khorasan.
The entrepreneurial ecosystem is a dynamic ecosystem similar to the structure of a biological ecosystem. A growing amount of literature suggests that the entrepreneurial ecosystem has many components and is known as a promising area of research in entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship ecosystems are a combination of social, political, economic and cultural elements in a region that support the development and growth of startups. It is believed that the entrepreneurial economy, achieved through entrepreneurial ecosystem must replace the entrepreneurial policy, Therefore the regional policies for entrepreneurship are currently transitioning from an increase in the amount of entrepreneurship to an increase in the quality of entrepreneurship.
In the literature related to the entrepreneurship ecosystem, there are few researches in the context of emerging economies. Whereas the ecosystem framework can be a useful tool to identify weak and strong elements in the local business environment and lead the developing economies in the use of relatively strong resources to facilitate entrepreneurial activities. There also are few studies to identify ecosystem patterns of entrepreneurship in Iran and especially under developed regions, and there is no research in order to identify the pattern of regional entrepreneurial pattern with centrality of a less developed province. The present study aims to identify the entrepreneurial ecosystem of IT startups in South Khorasan.
This study is conducted in South Khorasan province. 38 Startups have been stablished in the province until 2019, all of which based on information technology.
Materials and Methods
The present study is a qualitative research in terms of the implementation process. The research approach is exploratory and its strategy is theme analysis. In the first stage, library resources were studied. In the second step, deep interviews were conducted and content analysis was done using Theme analysis. Participants were people working in various fields related to the IT startups. 12 participants including IT experts, mentors and managers of the IT startups and executive managers of this area contributed to this study.
Discussion and Results
In order to identify the relationship between different elements, the recognition of relations and correlations, Atlas.ti software was used. Sampling was carried out in a purposeful and snowball sampling method. In this method, the first participant of the interviewees introduced new ones. Preliminary coding and identifying main and side themes were performed based on the data. The data were read and themes (which were the same words of the participants) extracted.
The resulting codes were compared with previous ones and being conceptually similar to each other were put in a category. The classes were also compared to each other and merged if they were similar. In some cases, a code ran from one class to another. This trend continued as far as the data saturation and the interview continued until the researcher expressed confidence in the data saturation. 85 primary code,27 side theme and 10 main theme were identified.
Ten dimensions were identified as elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Khorasan: The government (regulatory indices and support services); The market (access to the market in and out of the country and marketing); Patrons (Aggregators, accelerators, incubators, universities); Networking (social networks, advertising, communication network between patrons, the communication network between startups and patrons, the relational network between patrons and investors); Education and Empowerment (Universities and Educational Institutions, mentors, entrepreneurial events); Culture (introducing successful entrepreneurial patterns, enhancing the culture of self - efficacy and risk - taking ); New knowledge (managerial skills, technical expertise, expert knowledge); Infrastructure (physical infrastructure and IT infrastructure); Financial and intermediary services (financial facilities, insurance ); regional industries (connection between Startups and regional industries, agriculture, art crafts and tourism)