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Rural entrepreneurs and institutional assistance: an empirical study from mountainous Italy

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  • Nicola Meccheri
  • Gianluigi Pelloni

Abstract

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.

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  • Nicola Meccheri & Gianluigi Pelloni, 2006. "Rural entrepreneurs and institutional assistance: an empirical study from mountainous Italy," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 371-392, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:18:y:2006:i:5:p:371-392 DOI: 10.1080/08985620600842113
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    2. Gulumser, A.A. & Baycan Levent, T. & Nijkamp, P. & Poot, H.J., 2012. "The role of local and newcomer entrepreneurs in rural development: A comparative meta-analytic study," Serie Research Memoranda 0001, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Backman, Mikaela & Palmberg, Johanna, 2015. "Contextualizing small family firms: How does the urban–rural context affect firm employment growth?," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 247-258.
    4. Capelleras , Joan-Lluís & Contín-Pilart , Ignacio & Martin-Sanchez, Victor & Larraza-Kintana , Martín, 2013. "The influence of individual perceptions and the urban/rural environment on nascent entrepreneurship," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 26, pages 97-113.
    5. Heike Delfmann & Sierdjan Koster, 2016. "The effect of new business creation on employment growth in regions facing population decline," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, pages 33-54.
    6. João Ricardo Faria & Franklin G. Mixon, 2016. "Farmer-Entrepreneurs, Agricultural Innovation, and Explosive Research and Development Cycles," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(4), pages 1-11, September.
    7. Heike Mayer & Antoine Habersetzer & Rahel Meili, 2016. "Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-13, August.
    8. Maria Lúcia Pato & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "Twenty years of rural entrepreneurship: a bibliometric survey," FEP Working Papers 516, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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