The Emergence of the Urban Entrepreneur
How the Growth of Cities and the Sharing Economy Are Driving a New Breed of Innovators
by Boyd Cohen, PhD, with Pablo Muñoz, PhD
May 2016, 175pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-4455-3
$55, £43, 48€, A76
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4456-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Cities are increasingly dominating the economic stage on a global level. As a result, opportunities for entrepreneurs in the urban environment abound.

Combining emerging trends in collaboration, democratization, and urbanization, this book examines the emergence of entrepreneurship and innovation as a primarily urban phenomenon, explains why urban environments are rapidly attracting global innovators across three distinct forms of 'urbanpreneurship,' and lights the path forward for entrepreneurs, innovators, and city governments.

The world is urbanizing rapidly. Currently, 600 cities account for 60 percent of the global economy; by 2025, it is predicted that the top 100 cities will account for 35 percent of the world’s economy. Emerging trends in collaboration, the sharing economy, and innovation are opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurs in urban environments—”urbanpreneurs”—to participate in everything from tech startups in cities (instead of suburban tech parks) to makers and on-demand service providers to roles in civic entrepreneurship for those interested in solving the challenges that growing cities are facing.

Readers of this book will understand how the converging trends of collaboration, democratization, and urbanization are rapidly attracting global innovators to cities capable of creating the enabling environment for aspiring innovators. The book discusses how entrepreneurs can best capitalize on the opportunities in urban settings, identifies what large and small cities can do to encourage more urbanpreneurship, and concludes with a consideration of the future of entrepreneurship in urban environments.


  • Documents how the integration of three converging trends—collaboration, democratization, and urbanization—contribute to what the author calls the "Urbanpreneur Spiral"
  • Presents eye-opening insights and reflections on the current and future state of entrepreneurship and innovation in society
  • Explains why today's cities are the primary source of opportunities for new entrepreneurs
  • Pays much-needed attention to the growing role of local governments in fostering entrepreneurship and innovation
Boyd Cohen, PhD, is professor of entrepreneurship and sustainability at EADA Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and joint professor at the Universitat de Vic. He has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed academic articles on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and smart cities and is the lead guest editor for a special issue of California Management Review titled "The City as a Lab: Open Innovation Meets the Collaborative Economy." Cohen is the coauthor of the acclaimed book Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change and is a regular contributor to Fast Company. Cohen is currently a member of the United Nations Global Network on Digital Technologies for Sustainable Urbanization and is the founder of the boutique consultancy UrbanInnova. He received his doctorate in entrepreneurship and strategy from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Pablo Muñoz, PhD, is lecturer in business and sustainable change at the Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. His research focuses on sustainable entrepreneurship, inclusive innovation, and community enterprising.
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