Rural entrepreneurs and institutional assistance: an empirical study from mountainous Italy
Despite the recognition of entrepreneurship as one of the main determinants of rural economic development, empirical research in this field is relatively sparse. Thus, there is little evidence on the role and function of rural entrepreneurs, the driving force behind the birth, survival and growth of rural enterprises. The present work aims at providing a contribution to filling this gap in knowledge. We present and analyse the results emerging from a questionnaire submitted to a sample of 123 rural entrepreneurs and businesses in a mountainous area of central Italy. In particular, we test for six hypotheses concerning the correlation between different factors, reflecting entrepreneur and business-specific characteristics, and the adoption of instruments of institutional assistance. Entrepreneur's and business's variables are related to (1) entrepreneurial human capital; (2) entrepreneur's local knowledge and social capital; (3) firm's size; (4) entrepreneur's age; (5) firm's age; and (6) busines's sector of activity. Empirical results largely support the importance of variables taken into consideration in explaining differences in the adoption of institutional assistance among businesses of the sample. In the light of our empirical findings, we also examine and propose potential policies for fostering entrepreneurship and the development of the rural region under study.
Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
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