Author(s): Piperopoulos P
Abstract: In "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Business Clusters", Dr. Panos G. Piperopoulos provides a comprehensive introduction to what entrepreneurship is all about, how and why entrepreneurs innovate and how innovation systems operate. Acknowledging that what are now known as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute the backbone of most economies, the author then examines in depth the characteristics of SMEs and the crucial role played by the owners and entrepreneurs who innovate to ensure the survival and continued growth of their firms. He also highlights particular phenomena that arise where the entrepreneurs in question are either female or from ethnic groups, or where the context is that of a developing region or country.Building on what individual firms can achieve, the importance of co-operative strategic alliances and networks between firms is discussed, along with how these strengthen SMEs' competitiveness, as sharing knowledge and resources enhances their innovative capabilities. The author brings forth the concept of open innovation which, in the last few years, has been proposed as a new paradigm for the management of innovation. Furthermore he presents a hypothetical model for enhancing the competitiveness and performance of SMEs by properly utilizing employees’ creative potential, emotional intelligence, tacit knowledge and innovative ideas.Moving on from there, yet wider considerations come into play and the paradox of 'Localisation’ and the concept of 'Clustering' are discussed. The old notion of industrial districts has given way to the contemporary model of business clusters, involving partnerships with competitors, agents, universities, research centres and local, regional and national governments. The ways means and methods through which SMEs’ competitiveness and innovation can be enhanced within business clusters are examined.