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Context, structuration and agency in local entrepreneurial ecosystems in the transition to the Fourth Industrial Revolution: a comparative study among Brazilian and North American types of entrepreneurs


Despite the growing emphasis on the study of relationships between entrepreneurship and social context, there is still a small number of research aimed at a greater understanding of the ways in which local entrepreneurs react and shape the communities in which they operate. Likewise, there are practically no studies aimed at investigating the ways in which such entrepreneurs participate in the political life of their communities, especially in Brazil. Given these gaps, this proposal aims to expand our studies on types of entrepreneurs and community development by incorporating contemporary dynamics of reconversion of economic functions of cities oriented by the ongoing transition to the fourth industrial revolution - or digital economy - catalyzed by the pandemic of Covid-19. If our previous studies suggest that differences in the community context favor the emergence of different types of entrepreneurs, which, in turn, affect their development in different ways, their results also suggest that these different types have different business strategies, as well as favoring particular approaches to community economic and social development. Furthermore, they point out that the degree of political motivation and involvement of different types of entrepreneurs varies significantly among themselves. However, such studies do not examine details regarding the modes of political and collective involvement. By proposing to extend the research involving the cities of Lafayette, in the south north-American state of Louisiana, and Nova Lima, in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) - both undertaking a wide range of initiatives aimed at the reconversion of their economic functions from mineral extraction to the fourth revolution industrial or digital economy as well as with similar urbanization characteristics (sprawling cities, large number of residential condominiums and other diapositives of socio-spatial segregation) -, one seek to better apprehend the ways of structuration and agency of its different types of entrepreneurs. As a result, a greater practical and theoretical perception of the role that entrepreneurs can play in the development and revitalization of their communities is expected, especially in contexts of intense change and innovation. (AU)

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