Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Creating Jobs

09 July - 10 July 2018


UniSA City West Campus

Symposium 10 July 2018

Hosted by the University of South Australia in conjunction with the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Dynamics Research and Practice Network

The idea that entrepreneurship is a driver of economic growth and development has resonated with economists at least since the mid 1700’s. In the late 20th century the focus on entrepreneurship as an employment driver increased with research findings that showed new and young growth oriented firms—typified by such terms as gazelles and unicorns—produce the majority of new employment in an economy.

However, exactly how this comes about is not fully understood. Entrepreneurs do not act in isolation and increasingly the context of entrepreneurs is shown to matter. We know places and entrepreneurs are not all the same, so what explains the variation in entrepreneurial prevalence and persistence? How can the policy and practice of entrepreneurship be enhanced while respecting the unique characteristics, histories and communities of places?

In this Symposium ‘Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Creating Jobs’ we will examine the issues related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The objective is to tease apart the tangled threads of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to better understand the job creation story. While companies such as Seek Ltd, Atlassian and, more recently, Airplay Touch make national headlines reaching extraordinary market valuations and collectively contributing hundreds, if not thousands of jobs, how does this help regions that face declining industry sectors, such as manufacturing, losing equally large numbers of jobs? Entrepreneurial ecosystems have local, state, national and even global dimensions and an appreciation of each of these dimensions is an imperative if we are to truly claim that building entrepreneurial ecosystems will have a net positive effect on jobs growth in any specific locality.

The morning of the Symposium will include leading international academics who are contributing to the global dialogue on entrepreneurial ecosystems. They will be joined by local experts who will portray and discuss our Australian and South Australian challenges and experiences. This backdrop will set the scene for the afternoon interactive workshops where 3-4 challenges will be set and all Symposium participants will engage in an activity to tease apart the problem and identify potential resolutions. The day will be closed out with a sharing of our collective learning and setting the direction for future work and activity.

Symposium Details

Registrations on the day will open at 8:30am, with the conclusion of the symposium at 5:00pm.

Where: Bradley Forum, Level 5, Hawke Building, UniSA City West Campus [ view map

A program for the symposium will be made available soon.


Additional events 

The Australian chapter of Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Research Network (EERN) is pleased to present a prelude to the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Creating Jobs Symposium with a day of mixed activities to reflect the very nature of entrepreneurial ecosystems and how they operate. 

The EERN is an international community and think tank connecting researchers, policy makers, and practitioners across various backgrounds to enhance collaboration and discussion. EERN seeks to develop general concepts and frameworks that can be applied to foster entrepreneurship and innovation in regions around the world.

In the spirit of enquiry and knowledge building, the day’s activities will commence at UniSA in the morning. The first meeting for the day will be a workshop on the interdisciplinary challenges that entrepreneurial ecosystems research confronts from the perspective of industry, technology, or sectoral drivers.

Following the morning discussion, we will join the Entrepreneurs Week celebrations with lunch before participating in your choice of concurrent afternoon sessions on a diverse range of topics such as entrepreneurship careers and skills, connectivity in ecosystems, policy discussions, indigenous issues, and agri-food technology advances at the Adelaide Convention Centre (a short walk) For more details please click here.

After Entrepreneurs Week, we will return to UniSA for a key note address by Prof Colin Mason, co-author of the 2014 pioneering work prepared for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on ‘Entrepreneurial ecosystems and growth-oriented entrepreneurship’.

To conclude the day we will relax with drinks and dinner (optional) from 7pm at a separate venue located in the city among Adelaide’s laneway bar and restaurant culture to share ideas, experiences, insights, and questions.



Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Research, Policy & Practice – 9 July 2018

EERNRegardless of industry or place, entrepreneurial ecosystems exist and contribute to the development of ideas, business models, economic, and social change. In this workshop we invite researchers from multiple disciplines to join us in a discussion on the research challenges and opportunities of entrepreneurship from a systems and ecology standpoint.

The focus of this day is introduce EERN and the development of the Australian Chapter.




Keynote Address - Professor Colin Mason – 9 July 2018

“Understanding the entrepreneurial recycling process: a key driver in entrepreneurial ecosystem formation and growth”

Colin Mason took up his current post as Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow on 1 October 2012. He previously held a Chair in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde and before that was at the University of Southampton. He has degrees from the University of Edinburgh (MA Hons) and University of Manchester (PhD) and has held visiting positions at universities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina.

His research and teaching are in the areas of entrepreneurship and regional development. His specific research interest is in entrepreneurial finance. He has written extensively on business angel investing and has been closely involved with government and private sector initiatives to promote informal venture capital, both in the UK and elsewhere. He has recently undertaken research on high growth firms and on technology firms in Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise. He is the founding editor of the journal Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance (published by Taylor and Francis Ltd) and Consulting Editor of the International Small Business Journal (Sage).

Professor Mason’s key note will lead into a second workshop for the day to discuss how to bridge between practice, policy, and research.


Monday 9 July, 2018


10:30am – 6:30pm


RR 4-11, Level 4, Rowland Rees Building,

UniSA City West Campus [ view map ]



Networking Dinner - 9 July 2018


Monday 9 July, 2018


7:00pm onwards


To be announced



Who should attend?

Entrepreneurs, policy-makers and those employed in regional, industry and economic development agencies are invited along with academics, doctoral candidates, research, coursework and honours students, practitioners and consultants.

Register here


Further informationPlease email MGN.Events@unisa.edu.au for further details about this event.



International Speakers

James Wilson
Dr James Wilson

James Wilson is Researcher Director at Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness and faculty at Deusto Business School. 

National Speakers

Peter Schutz
Mr Peter Schutz

Food Innovation Australia Ltd’s (FIAL) Chairman, Peter Schutz is a commercially astute senior leader with a proven track record within the food and agriculture industries and research community.


Paul Steffens
Dr Paul Steffen

Dr Paul Steffens is Professor and Director Postgraduate Programs at the Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), The University of Adelaide, Australia. His current research is concerned with the creation, development and growth of new ventures, and diffusion of innovations.  He has been a chief investigator for several major research programs totalling over $1.5 million, including the Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE) and currently leads the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in Australia. Paul has published in leading entrepreneurship journals including Journal of Business Venturing (JBV) and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and serves on the editorial board for JBV.


Anne Moroney
Anne Moroney

Anne Moroney is Chief Executive and Director of Regional Development of RDA Barossa Gawler Light Adelaide Plains and is responsible for implementing the regional growth strategy, partnerships development, external liaison, opportunities assessment, major projects and operational management. Anne has extensive experience as a commercial lawyer across private and public practice, and more recently in economic development and is a small business owner and partner in the family vineyard and wine producer. Anne is an accredited mediator, has substantial board experience and is well versed in the matters and concerns of regional areas.

Host and Network Organisers

Allan O'Connor
Associate Professor Allan O'Connor

Allan O'Connor purchased his first venture, a private drumming tuition business, at 18 years of age to support his career development in mechanical engineering with John Lysaght (Australia) Ltd.


Professor Morgan Miles
Professor Morgan Miles

Professor Morgan P. Miles recently became Professor of Entrepreneurship at Charles Stuart University.


Morgan Miles
Morgan Miles

Charles Sturt University, New South Wales 


Margarietha (Retha) Scheepers
Margarietha (Retha) Scheepers

University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland 


Lisa Daniel
Lisa Daniel

University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland


Martin Bliemel
Martin Bliemel

University of Technology Sydney, New South Wales


Scott Gordon
Scott Gordon

University of Adelaide, South Australia


Chris Medlin
Chris Medlin

University of Adelaide, South Australia


Saskia De Klerk
Saskia De Klerk

University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland


Charles Sturt University  The University of Adelaide



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1 Bedroom Apartments $159 per night

2 Bedroom Apartments $239 per night

Includes room and wifi


All rooms subject to availability

Rockford Hotel http://www.rockfordadelaide.com.au/

Mercure Hotel http://www.mercuregrosvenorhotel.com.au/ 

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