Researching rural enterprise.
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MCELWEE, G. and SMITH, R. 2014. Researching rural enterprise. In Fayolle, A. (ed.) Handbook of research on entrepreneurship: what we know and what we need to know. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar [online], Chapter 14, pages 432-470. Available from: https://doi.org/10.4337/9780857936929.00022
This chapter is concerned with the topic of researching rural enterprise. As a subset of the literature of entrepreneurship, rural entrepreneurship and in particular rural enterprise is an emerging area of study. Bryant (1989) makes an important point when he argues that the entrepreneur (and the entrepreneurial activity of other people) in the rural environment is crucial in sustaining the vitality of rural areas. Entrepreneurship in rural areas is influenced by the evolution of rural territories expressed by demographic, economic, cultural, infrastructure changes, as reflected for example by a continual decline of new entrants into farming, and population movements into or out of rural places. This distinction between entrepreneurship and enterprise is of importance because as we have shown elsewhere (McElwee and Smith, 2011), not all examples of enterprising behaviour actually constitute entrepreneurship per se. At a policy level, there is broad consensus that enterprise generates economic growth and vitality within an economy, and is fundamental to coping with and responding to broader changes in the organization and dynamics of economic activity and interaction (McElwee and Smith, 2011).