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FP5

The future of Europe's rural periphery, the role of Entrepreneurship in responding to employment problems and social marginalization- FERP, Final Report, EUR 21704

Project ID: HPSE-CT-1999-00013
Funded under: FP5-HUMAN POTENTIAL

Abstract

Recent technological advances alongside changes in the global institutional framework are having profound effects upon the development paths of Europe's rural areas. Indeed, it is fair to argue that in the context of a rapidly changing international division of labour, Europe's countryside has to re-invent itself. Within this context, this project sets out to examine the extent to which economic agents (namely entrepreneurs, knowledge-based institutions, and policy-makers) in Europe's rural areas are demonstrating an ability to rise to the challenges at hand.
Drawing upon the results of extensive fieldwork investigation from ten case study areas in five European countries we argue economic development in rural peripheral areas is closely associated with the entrepreneurial talent of the local population. Unfortunately, in some rural areas, those who could reasonably have been expected to perform the entrepreneurial function may well have been the first to seek to out-migrate to more inviting urban areas. At the same time, in other rural regions, in- migration appears to be a source of entrepreneurial capacity. Therefore, we advance the idea that rural development policies should centre on the enhancement of the entrepreneurial human capital in the countryside. This means developing a supportive environment, which would allow individuals with entrepreneurial talents to remain or move into Europe's rural areas and to facilitate the development of productive entrepreneurship. In line with this, policy decision-making should include a combination of direct (such as business support) and more importantly indirect (such as projects focused on building institutional capacity) measures to support entrepreneurship. Young and educated human capital is crucial for the development of entrepreneurship in European rural peripheral areas so as to enable them to compete in the international division of labour.

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Record Number: 9099 / Last updated on: 2008-04-14
Category: MISC