Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Integrated Article


Doctor of Philosophy




Parker, Simon C.

2nd Supervisor

Plummer, Lawrence A.



The recent rise in research related to entrepreneurial support (ES) initiatives can be attributed to two closely intertwined insights that have garnered increased attention in recent years. Firstly, there is an increased acknowledgment of the significant role played by entrepreneurship in job creation and economic growth, consequently bolstering the emphasis on supporting entrepreneurship. Secondly, this focus on the economic importance of new businesses is accompanied by a growing understanding of the inherent vulnerabilities faced by ventures that encounter substantial challenges in their initial development stages. Considering these insights, governmental bodies and policymakers are progressively shifting their focus towards ES initiatives to bolster support for entrepreneurs.

Despite this surge in ES research, the field's findings offer limited insights into effectively supporting entrepreneurs due to shortcomings in the application of robust theoretical frameworks, a narrow concentration on specific support types, and an insufficient exploration of how environmental factors influence the outcomes of entrepreneurial support. To address these knowledge gaps, we adopt the nascent theory of Organizational Sponsorship (OS) as the primary underpinning for our research investigations. These inquiries encompass the examination of the impacts of various support programs on new firm exits, the moderating effect of the local environment within this framework, and the consequences of diverse OS initiatives on the relationship between industry switching and new firm exits.

In Chapter 2, we introduce the concept of "cost reduction sponsorship" as a form of organizational support geared towards minimizing operational expenses for ventures. Our investigation delves into how various agglomeration and regional innovation factors moderate the relationship between cost reduction OS and new firm exits. Moving on to Chapter 3, we present the notion of "resource infusion OS" as a type of organizational sponsorship, involving the provision of external resources to create a resource-rich environment for venture support. We then examine how agglomeration and regional innovation factors influence this relationship. In Chapter 4, our research focuses on the interplay between industry switching and new firm exits. We delve into how industry switching impacts new firm exits contingent upon three OS initiatives: cost reduction OS through state taxes, resource infusion OS facilitated by government loans, and hybrid OS facilitated by accelerators.

Summary for Lay Audience

In recent times, there has been a growing interest in supporting entrepreneurs for two important reasons. First, the realization that entrepreneurship is vital for creating jobs and boosting the economy has led to increased support for entrepreneurs. Second, it has been learned that starting a new business can be really challenging, prompting policymakers to focus on programs that help new businesses. However, even with all this research and support, there is still no complete understanding of how to best help entrepreneurs succeed. This knowledge gap is due to a lack of strong theories, a predominant focus on specific types of support, and insufficient consideration of how the environment influences the support provided to new firms. To address these challenges, we are turning to the concept of "Organizational Sponsorship" as a foundation to study how various support programs impact new firm exits, the significance of the local environment, and the relationship between industry switching and the success of new businesses.

In Chapter 2 of our research, we explore the concept of "cost reduction sponsorship," which involves initiatives aimed at lowering the costs of doing business to support the success of new firms. We utilize taxation as a measurement to assess this form of support and comprehend its impact on the success of new companies. We then investigated how this form of support is influenced by factors like competition, industrial diversity, and the availability of new knowledge in a region. Our findings show that taxation significantly impacts the success of new firms, and this relationship is further influenced by factors such as competition in the area, diversity of industries, and the presence of new knowledge in a region.

In Chapter 3, we introduce the idea of "resource infusion sponsorship," which involves providing external resources to help new firms thrive. We use government grants to measure this support and understand how it influences the success of new companies. We also studied how this form of support and its effect on new firm survival is influenced by competition, how many different types of businesses are in the area, and whether there is new knowledge available. Our research showed that how much competition there is and how much new knowledge is available in a region can affect how government grants impact the survival of new firms.

In Chapter 4, we explore how changing industries – a concept known as "industry switching" – impacts the success of new companies. We also investigated how different types of support for new firms, like reducing taxes, providing government loans, and accelerator programs in a region, affect the relationship between changing industries and the success of new firms. What we found is that businesses switching industries can significantly impact how successful they are. But these different support programs can also have a moderating effect, meaning they can help determine whether a new business succeeds or not. So, the type of support a business gets can make a big difference in its success when it changes industries.

Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2026