Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.



Degree Program

Entrepreneurship, PhD

Committee Chair

Garrett, Robert

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Quinn, Ryan

Committee Member

Quinn, Ryan

Committee Member

Gohmann, Stephann

Committee Member

Parker, Simon

Author's Keywords

micro-perspective; entrepreneurial; ecosystems


Entrepreneurial ecosystems are seen as a stimulant of regional economic growth. Theory-building efforts on entrepreneurial ecosystems has sufficiently established an understanding of the macro-environment; the environmental infrastructure and conditions that support productive entrepreneurship. However, there has been a disproportionate lack of focus on the micro- and group-level dynamics that impact individual entrepreneurs and ventures within ecosystem. This has limited the availability of evidence to explain how and when ecosystems emerge and function at a high level. Therefore, this dissertation examines three distinct microfoundations that can be found in entrepreneurial ecosystem literature – community, learning, and venture development – to move toward a cohesive framework for understanding ecosystem development. Through semistuctured interviews with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial actors in coworking spaces in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States, this study develops contributions to economic growth via entrepreneurial ecosystems, and of entrepreneurial communities, entrepreneurial learning, and venture development