Support and Development of Small and New Firms in Rural Areas: A case study of three regional initiatives
Journal article, 2020
This paper is based on qualitative analysis and addresses the important topic of small business entrepreneurialism in rural areas and its special conditions and needs. Our aim is to present examples of and suggestions for how to encourage firm start-ups and the continuation possibly also the development and growth of existing firms. The paper is based on three cases that illustrate (1) challenges in the support system in rural areas, (2) various forms of support that could be used in rural areas, and (3) expectations that are eligible to put upon support activities designed for rural areas. The main findings are that (1) that successful support of rural businesses requires a critical mass of regional entrepreneurs, firms, and support actors, (2) diversity is critical, and the various actors must be coordinated to carry out the desired measures effectively, (3) expectations for growth and orientation of the firms must be realistic because broad support is more important than targeted support, and (4) we were able to show that a cross-boundary collaborative work culture that avoids both thought silos and business silos and places no value on prestige should pervade all areas of business support.