Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography Research Research projects
Regional Systems of Entrepreneurship – an explorative Analysis of the “Region Hannover“

Regional Systems of Entrepreneurship – an explorative Analysis of the “Region Hannover“

Led by:  Prof. Dr. Rolf Sternberg
Team:  Johannes von Bloh
Year:  2019
Funding:  The Lower Saxon Ministry of Science and Culture
Duration:  2016 - 2019
Is Finished:  yes

Entrepreneurship is an important part of the structural change of the economic landscape in nations and subnational regions. Policy and science both had a visible interest in the topic of business foundations over the past decades. In Lower Saxony, like in other German federal states, entrepreneurship policy is trying to push the quantity and quality of start-ups with a diverse toolset. This strategies are rooted within two premises: Amount and quality of business foundations in a region can influence the economic development of that given region positively and business foundations can be affected by entrepreneurial policy measures since those policies belong to the more important context variables.

The first of this premises is partially proven by scientific results, the second one is rarely researched. The shortcomings in this area are especially empirical and theoretical results which show the interplay between entrepreneurial activities and entrepreneurial policies (as a part of regional context) as well as the different context variables from a systemic point of view. The concept of systems of innovation was recently tried on the complex of business foundations by the scientific entrepreneurship community. However this was done purely theoretical and conceptual for whole nations. What is missing, is an empirical examination of system of entrepreneurship on a subnational, i.e. regional, level. This gap is going to be closed by us.

Financed by the Förderprogramm PRO*Niedersachsen by the MWK, in the light of entrepreneurial ecosystems, the “Region Hannover“ will be researched regarding its systemic structure in respect to business startups, influential framework conditions and the interplay of the relevant actors from economy, politics and education.
An explorative analysis of the region shall show if Hannover meets the conditions of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, how such a systems works and which determinants have influence on the internal organization. Further more the project shall help to explain the relationship between structural barriers and shortcomings (bottlenecks) of business foundations and a regional system.

Additionally the political actors should be provided with guidance on how to foster an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Ultimately the project pursues three goals:

  1. The recent idea of national systems of entrepreneurship should be transferred conceptually to the subnational level of regions.
  2. Using the Region Hannover, influence and interplay of actors/institutions within this system of entrepreneurship should be uncovered empirically.
  3. Finally specific suggestions should be issued towards the local entrepreneurship policy makers of the Region Hannover. The suggestions should be transferable on to other cities and regions in Lower Saxony.


  • von Bloh, J.; Broekel, T.; Özgun, B.; Sternberg, R. (2020): New(s) data for Entrepreneurship Research? An innovative approach to use big data on media coverage. Small Business Economics 55(3), 673-694. DOI: 10.1007/s11187-019-00209-x
  • Sternberg, R., von Bloh, J., Coduras, A. (2019): A new framework to measure entrepreneurial ecosystems at the regional level. Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie (= The German Journal of Economic Geography) 63(2-4), 103-117. DOI: 10.1515/zfw-2018-0014

Presentations to Scientific Audiences:

  • von Bloh, J.: Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Composite Index (EECI). GEM 2019 Annual Meeting, Santiago, Chile, 01.2019.
  • von Bloh, J.: Das Entrepreneurial Ecosystem der Region Hannover. Ergebnisse einer neuen Datenquelle. Jahrestagung 2018 des AK Industriegeographie, Wiesbaden-Naurod, 16.-17.11.2018.
  • von Bloh, J., Coduras, A., Sternberg, R.: Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Index with GEM Data: Feasibility and Proposal. GEM 2018 Annual Meeting, Seoul, Südkorea, 06.02.2018.
  • von Bloh, J.: Regional systems of entrepreneurship: Explorative study of the region of Hanover. Young Economic Geographer Network (YEGN), Goslar, 23.07.2017.
  • von Bloh, J.: Regionale Gründungssysteme Eine explorative Analyse der Region Hannover. Jahrestreffen des Netzwerks der Wirtschafts-Senioren, Hannover, 13.07.2017.
  • Sternberg, R.; von Bloh, J.: Regionale Gründungssysteme - eine explorative Analyse für die Region Hannover. Hannoverimpuls GmbH (Netzwerktreffen des ehemaligen EIH e.V.), Hannover, 18.1.2017.