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Competitiveness analysis and evaluation of entrepreneurial ecosystems: a multi-criteria approach


  • Ioannis Sitaridis

    (University of Macedonia)

  • Fotis Kitsios

    (University of Macedonia)


The purpose of this paper is, to propose a methodology for the comparison and ranking of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (EEs) in order to offer the decision maker a straightforward way of assessing the competitiveness of national economies. EEs are a coordinated set of individual and institutional agents, on the national level, aimed to pursue economic development through the discovery and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities. Among the various approaches found in EE research, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor consortium evaluates the national economic development of more than 100 countries, concerning both individual and contextual factors. Entrepreneurship Framework Conditions of national EEs are rated on an annual basis by groups of domain experts on a number of predefined criteria. These ratings describe the various facets of the EEs, exposing strengths and weaknesses of the contextual environment, offering a snapshot of the competitiveness conditions of the national economy. However, comparative studies examining the relative performance of each EE, are needed in order to communicate useful information and help stakeholders make insightful decisions and design policy. The ranking of EEs as different alternatives based on multiple criteria is a Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem. The relative importance of each criterion is defined either by experts or by statistical methods. The selection of criteria weights is usually a cumbersome procedure. The utilization of non-weighted or equal weight methods, eliminates the need for definition of weights, it has less computational overhead and can produce distinct and objective rankings of the alternatives. The Greek EE is taken as a working example, and it is compared with a number of developed and developing countries, as alternatives. The consistence of the ranking results produced by the method proposed is compared with the evaluations of other EE metrics and the results of other well accepted MCDM methods. The application of the method produced a distinct ranking for each alternative EE. The Greek EE ranked below average among the countries of the comparison group, implying that it is less conducive for entrepreneurship development, although it is categorized among the most developed Innovation Driven economies. The theoretical and practical implications of the results are thoroughly discussed offering useful conclusions.

Suggested Citation

  • Ioannis Sitaridis & Fotis Kitsios, 2020. "Competitiveness analysis and evaluation of entrepreneurial ecosystems: a multi-criteria approach," Annals of Operations Research, Springer, vol. 294(1), pages 377-399, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:annopr:v:294:y:2020:i:1:d:10.1007_s10479-019-03404-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s10479-019-03404-x

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    2. Mohamed Abouelhassan Ali & Moaaz Kabil & Rahaf Alayan & Róbert Magda & Lóránt Dénes Dávid, 2021. "Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Performance in Egypt: An Empirical Study Based on the Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI)," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(13), pages 1-22, June.
    3. Sofia Gomes & João Ferreira & João Morais Lopes & Luís Farinha, 2022. "The Impacts of the Entrepreneurial Conditions on Economic Growth: Evidence from OECD Countries," Economies, MDPI, vol. 10(7), pages 1-20, July.
    4. Allan O’Connor & David Audretsch, 2023. "Regional entrepreneurial ecosystems: learning from forest ecosystems," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 60(3), pages 1051-1079, March.
    5. Carayannis, Elias G. & Grigoroudis, Evangelos & Wurth, Bernd, 2022. "OR for entrepreneurial ecosystems: A problem-oriented review and agenda," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 300(3), pages 791-808.
    6. Manuel Sousa & Maria Fatima Almeida & Rodrigo Calili, 2021. "Multiple Criteria Decision Making for the Achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: A Systematic Literature Review and a Research Agenda," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(8), pages 1-37, April.
    7. Quoc Hoang Thai & Khuong Ngoc Mai & Tung Thanh Do, 2023. "An Evolution of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Studies: A Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda," SAGE Open, , vol. 13(1), pages 21582440231, March.

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