Representations of Entrepreneurship in Local Media: A Comparative Analysis


  • Satu Rinkinen LUT University
  • Suvi Konsti-Laakso LUT University



entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial ecosystems, entrepreneurial culture


Entrepreneurial culture is a key element of the success of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Previous studies have shown that regional levels of entrepreneurial activity tend to remain persistent over long periods of time and that cultural attitudes in favour of entrepreneurship and rooted in the history of the region can influence innovation activity and new business formation today. Prior research has studied the entrepreneurial culture investigating individuals’ perceptions, attitudes, values, and entrepreneurial personality fit. However, such approaches fail to address the importance of social representations of entrepreneurship as a part of entrepreneurial culture. The aim of this study is to increase understanding about the local entrepreneurial culture within entrepreneurial ecosystems by analysing local media representations of entrepreneurship as indications of local entrepreneurial cultures in the entrepreneurial ecosystem context. The research was carried out as a comparative study of two Finnish regions: Päijät-Häme and South Karelia. The primary research data consists of 120 newspaper articles from regional daily newspapers. The results suggest that in the studied regions local media particularly helps transmit entrepreneurial success stories as an ecosystem service. Also, narratives of entrepreneurial ambition, innovativeness and risk acceptance were transmitted to the local audiences. Some regional differences were also detected, which might reflect the different historical backgrounds and regional levels of entrepreneurial activity. This paper presents the preliminary results of the study which are of value for both ecosystem actors and policymakers designing initiatives to strengthen the local entrepreneurial culture and public discourse promoting entrepreneurship.

Author Biographies

Satu Rinkinen, LUT University

Satu Rinkinen (D.Sc. Tech.) is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at LUT University, School of Engineering Science, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. Her prior research work covers topics related to innovation policy, innovation networks, business and innovation ecosystems, and regional innovation systems. She received her doctoral degree from LUT in 2016 in the field of Industrial Engineering and Management, and her doctoral dissertation focused on innovation policy’s concept evolution and different approaches to regional renewal. Her current research interests include innovation-based regional renewal, entrepreneurial ecosystems and sustainable regional development.

Suvi Konsti-Laakso, LUT University

Suvi Konsti-Laakso, D.Sc. (Econ. & Bus. Adm.), works as a post-doctoral researcher in LUT University, Lahti Campus, Finland. Her primary research interest concern innovation, which she studies in different contexts such as public sector, family business groups, entrepreneurial ecosystems and sustainability. In addition, she teaches multiple courses in entrepreneurship master program such as business idea generation and new venture creation.