Department of Management

Rural Entrepreneurship or Entrepreneurship in the Rural: Between Place and Space

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Steffen Korsgaard, Denmark
  • Sabine Müller, Denmark
  • Hanne Wittorff Tanvig, Department of Forest and Landscape, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Purpose: This article investigates how rural entrepreneurship engages with place and space. It explores the concept of “rural” in rural enterprise, and illustrates the importance of distinguishing between types of rural entrepreneurship.
Design/methodology/approach: The constructs of “place” and “space” from human geography are applied to develop a nuanced understanding of rural entrepreneurship as a spatial phenomenon. Space consists of processes of movement and mobility, while places consist of localized material, social and economic relations.
Findings: Two ideal types are developed, namely (i) entrepreneurship in the rural and (ii) rural entrepreneurship. The former represents entrepreneurial activities that have limited embeddedness and enact 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 entrepreneurial processes and their impact on local economic development.
Originality/value: This study contributes to understanding 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Pages (from-to)5-26
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • rural entrepreneurship, place and space, contextualizing, local economic development

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