In-migrant entrepreneurship in rural England: beyond local embeddedness
It is now broadly accepted in the literature that in-migrants make a disproportionately positive contribution in the creation of new ventures in rural England. However, to date, there have been precious few advances in our understanding of either the characteristics or, more importantly, the degree of embeddedness of in-migrant entrepreneurs. This paper aspires to address this gap in the literature, drawing upon the findings of an extensive fieldwork investigation in rural Cumbria.1 It is argued that the attributes of entrepreneurial individuals who are not born locally enable them to follow distinct routes to starting and/or running a business, working in contexts that allow them to break away from the confines of rurality. They appear to rely less upon the local setting for the supply of materials and capital, as well as a market for their products/services and to have closer relationships with national and international sources of information than their locally-born counterparts. Thus, in-migrant entrepreneurs emerge as a key instrument in enhancing the integration of rural economies in the national and global markets as well as diminishing the strength of local ties. Weak local ties also mean that growing in-migrant entrepreneurship may be linked with the demise of rural localities as integrated entities.
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Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
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