Evidence-based Entrepreneurship: Cumulative Science, Action Principles, and Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice
The concept and desiderata of an evidence-based entrepreneurship (EBE) is discussed as a strategy to overcome the gap between knowledge developed in the field of entrepreneurship and its use in practice. Evidence constitutes the best summary of knowledge based on several sources of information (several studies, several different research groups, several different methodological approaches, among them the best methods available) which clearly goes beyond individual experience and a few isolated studies. We argue that meta-analyses can and should be used in entrepreneurship research (and that they should also be used to review qualitative studies). Meta-analyses establish certain relationships; these should then be summarized in well-founded models and theories that can be translated into action principles. These action principles can then be used by various users of EBE. Users of EBE can be scientists, professionals who regularly deal with entrepreneurs (bankers, consultants, venture capital providers), policy makers (e.g., government), students of entrepreneurship, and last but not least the entrepreneurs themselves. Once a set of action principles has been developed from science, their application can be tested with the help of further evidence on the efficacy of interventions (including meta-analyses on the interventions). Evidence-based entrepreneurship (EBE) has the potential to change research, teaching, and practice.
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