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Romania: Many Entrepreneurs but Few Innovators

Badulescu, Daniel and Cadar, Otilia (2016): Romania: Many Entrepreneurs but Few Innovators. Published in: The Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Sciences , Vol. 1, No. XXV (1 June 2016): pp. 465-475.

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Abstract

Entrepreneurship is considered an essential element for the development and prosperity of contemporary economies. The already known traits: creating jobs, boosting growth, revenues to the state budget, are supplemented by vitality and adaptability, and not least, a capacity for innovation. Thus, innovation became one of the most important factors in the companies’ activity. However, innovation doesn’t only mean new products and services. It is closely related to the capacity of entrepreneurs and managers to apply new business models, embedding an organizational culture capable to identify how new ideas could be converted into value for business and society. Innovation supports the efforts of ambitious entrepreneurs to pursue their objectives and stimulate other potential entrepreneurs to enter into businesses. Innovation generates, directly and indirectly, positive effects not only within a company but also within the national economy, as a whole. Despite this empirical evidence, the link between entrepreneurship and innovation is difficult to describe, to introduce it in strong theoretical models, in order to substantiate viable political programs. First, only a relatively small part of entrepreneurs really innovate. Secondly, researchers reveal deep, but subtle, ties between the entrepreneurs’ profile, availability for innovation and effects on states’ competitiveness and prosperity. Finally, the number (or proportion) of entrepreneurs isn’t the most relevant, but their availability to innovate, the type of innovation chosen and, especially, how entrepreneurial organizations stimulate innovative initiatives among their employees (intrapreneurship). From this point of view, Romania's situation is difficult and challenging. The importance and size of the sector, entrepreneurial motivations, or the share of early stage innovative entrepreneurs indicate an average position at a global or European Union (EU) level. However, Romania is a modest innovator, often ranked last in the EU for a several innovation indicators, and its innovation performance in 2014 is at a significantly lower level compared to 2007. The poorest relative performance has been registered for the Linkages & entrepreneurship indicator. Our research also performs a comparison between entrepreneurship and innovation indicators, for Romania and selected Central and Eastern European states, to better understand the gap regarding a reasonable performance in innovation.

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