ABSTRACT

It seems safe to claim that entrepreneurs with their varying presence and their varying activities playa critical role for the speed with which regions transform as well as for the direction of this transformation. Entrepreneurs are individuals (or groups of individuals) who specialize in making choices that require an intensive use of judgement, i.e. choices that involve unprecedented situations in which different people are likely to make different decisions (Casson, 1982). Entrepreneurship can be defined as the discovery, evaluation and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities by potential entrepreneurs with the goal to earn profit (cf. Venkataraman, 1997; Shane and Venkataraman, 2000; Low, 2001). Thus, without entrepreneurial opportunities, there is no entrepreneurship (Short et al., 2011). The entrepreneurial opportunity may be a potential new product (good or service), a new variety of an existing product or a more efficient production or distribution process for an existing product.'