Small Business Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 221–244 | Cite as

Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities

  • Michael Stuetzer
  • Martin Obschonka
  • Udo Brixy
  • Rolf Sternberg
  • Uwe Cantner
Original Research


This article seeks to better understand the link between regional characteristics and individual entrepreneurship. We combine individual-level Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data for Western Germany with regional-level data, using multilevel analysis to test our hypotheses. We find no direct link between regional knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture on the one side and individual business start-up intentions and start-up activity on the other side. However, our findings point to the importance of an indirect effect of regional characteristics as knowledge creation, the economic context and an entrepreneurial culture have an effect on the individual perception of founding opportunities, which in turn predicted start-up intentions and activity.


Regional entrepreneurship Nascent entrepreneurship Opportunity perception Creative class Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 



Earlier versions of this paper were presented at the 50th Annual Congress of the European Regional Science Association (Jönköping, Sweden; 2010), the 8th AGSE International Entrepreneurship Research Exchange (Melbourne, Australia; 2011) and the 4th Global Entrepreneurship Research Conference, Imperial College, London (UK). Parts of this research were conducted while the first author was member of the DFG research training group 1411 “The economics of innovative change”. The work of the second author on this study was supported by the PATHWAYS International Postdoctoral Fellowship Programme for the Comparative Study of Productive Youth Development (Jacobs Foundation) and the Center for Applied Developmental Science (CADS) of the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena, Germany. The authors are grateful to Michael Fritsch, Per Davidsson and Veronique Schutjens for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Stuetzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martin Obschonka
    • 3
  • Udo Brixy
    • 4
  • Rolf Sternberg
    • 5
  • Uwe Cantner
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Chair of Economic PolicyTechnical University IlmenauIlmenauGermany
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, QUT Business SchoolQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Center for Applied Developmental ScienceFriedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Employment Research (IAB)NurembergGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Economic and Cultural GeographyLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  6. 6.Department of Economics and Business Administration and Graduate College “The Economics of Innovative Change” (DFG-GK-1411)Friedrich Schiller University JenaJenaGermany
  7. 7.Department of Marketing and Management, I2M GroupUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense MDenmark

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