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The Impact of Brexit on London's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The Case of the FinTech Industry

Authors: Franziska Sohns*, University of Greenwich, Dariusz Wójcik, University of Oxford
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: FinTech, Brexit, location decisions, entrepreneurial ecosystems, institutional change
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has profoundly changed the way of doing business during the last decade. Existing research has shown that in times of deep technological change regional economic prosperity depends strongly on a dynamic development of entrepreneurial activities with the entrepreneur as the driving agent.

In this regard, London is considered as one of the world’s most dynamic entrepreneurial cities. One of the biggest success stories of London’s entrepreneurial ecosystem in the last decade, is its development into one of the world’s leading FinTech hubs. However, London’s leading position cannot be taken for granted, as FinTech is a relatively young industry and London competes in this area with other global FinTech hubs.

The result of the UK referendum held on 23 June 2016 to leave the European Union unleashed a series of developments, referred to shortly as Brexit. This process is redefining the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe and the world at large. It is also a process characterised by a high level of uncertainty regarding its outcomes, which in itself can impede the strategic decisions of economic actors and, as a consequence, might influence the development of London's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Consequently, this paper examines how the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has influenced London'd FinTech industry. In a narrow sense, the paper aims to analyse how entrepreneurial actors react to uncertainty and changing institutional settings. In a broader sense, it aims to discuss how entrepreneurial ecosystems evolve in times of disruption.

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