Rural entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship in the rural – between place and space
February 1, 2015 Editor
International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Volume 21, Issue 1, March 2015.
Purpose This article investigates how rural entrepreneurship engages with place and space. It explores the concept of “rural” as a socio-spatial concept in rural entrepreneurship and illustrates the importance of distinguishing between ideal types of rural entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach This article investigates how rural entrepreneurship engages with place and space. It explores the concept of “rural” as a socio-spatial concept in rural entrepreneurship and illustrates the importance of distinguishing between ideal types of rural entrepreneurship. Findings Two ideal types are developed: (i) entrepreneurship in the rural and (ii) rural entrepreneurship. The former represents entrepreneurial activities with limited embeddedness enacting a profit-oriented and mobile logic of space. The latter represents entrepreneurial activities that leverage local resources to re-connect place to space. While both types contribute to local development, the latter holds the potential for an optimized use of the resources in the rural area, and these ventures are unlikely to relocate even if economic rationality would suggest it. Research limitations/implications The conceptual distinction allows for engaging more deeply with the diversity of entrepreneurial activities in rural areas. It increases our understanding of localized entrepreneurial processes and their impact on local economic development. Originality/value This study contributes to the understanding of the localized processes of entrepreneurship and how these processes are enabled and constrained by the immediate context or “place”. The paper weaves space and place in order to show the importance of context for entrepreneurship, which responds to the recent calls for contextualizing entrepreneurship research and theories. In addition ideal types can be a useful device for further research and serve as a platform for developing rural policies.
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