Thompson, John L. (2010) 'Entrepreneurship Enablers'-Their Unsung and Unquantified Role in Competitiveness and Regeneration. Local Economy, 25 (1). pp. 58-73. ISSN 0269-0942

Entrepreneurship enablers are the 'people behind the people' who create and build businesses and social enterprises and thus help bring about economic and social regeneration. Entrepreneurship enablers are really entrepreneurs, but their 'product' is the businesses and other initiatives that would not have happened without their intervention. The paper discusses the importance of entrepreneurship enabling in regeneration and competitiveness, and the frequently under-sung role of entrepreneurship enablers. Whilst 'entrepreneur enabling' is about working with and supporting individuals, entrepreneurship enablers are those people who make it (more) possible for entrepreneurs to emerge and grow in the first place. They affect the infrastructure and the culture that others demonstrate is important in regeneration. This paper is grounded in a mix of regional development and entrepreneurship literature; the research is case based and reflections are drawn from 15 different examples. The basic conclusions are that these individuals are important-really, they are essential. They make a significant contribution, and yet their role remains largely unquantified and unsung. Policy makers can benefit from making sure they take their contribution seriously.

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