Business & Information Systems Engineering

Document Type

Research Paper


While recent research continues to emphasize the importance of digital entrepreneurship, the historical terminology of this field is often overlooked. Digital entrepreneurship tends to be considered a new phenomenon despite emerging in the early 1990s. Building on a scoping literature review, this study analyzes 1354 publications that use nine different terms interchangeably to describe the phenomenon of digital entrepreneurship. Based on the number of publications per year, three eras in the historical development of digital entrepreneurship research are outlined. Digital technologies are identified as external enablers, and certain practical events are considered to be influencing factors. The results show that recent research has not adequately recognized the contributions of previous publications and that the understanding of digital entrepreneurship is quite similar with regard to the terms used and over time. This study shows how emerging digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and big data analytics, might shape the future of digital entrepreneurship research. The study occupies the intersection between entrepreneurship and information systems literature and its main contribution is to provide new insights into the eras of digital entrepreneurship from the past to the present and into the future.