Gender and Entrepreneurship

Authored by: Jo Little

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies

Print publication date:  May  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804371
eBook ISBN: 9781315753041
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619864


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Studies of the rural economy and society have, over many years, highlighted the key role played by entrepreneurial activity and evaluated the particular contributions made by entrepreneurs to the economic characteristics and prosperity of the countryside. Early research on entrepreneurship tended to focus on the economic issues facing rural areas as a result of agricultural transformation and the decline in primary industry and examined the role and potential of new business activity for creating jobs and supporting existing rural enterprises (Davis, Mack & Kirke, 1997; Ilbery, Healy & Higginbottom, 1997). A particular interest was the growth of entrepreneurial activity on farms and the opportunities afforded by the (need for the) diversification of agricultural businesses. Such activity was identified in some cases as central to the survival of individual farm enterprises and hence to the viability and sustainability of agriculture more broadly. Entrepreneurial activity on farms was also recognised to have important implications for the organisation of the farm business and, in many cases, to the economic activity and division of labour within the farm family household.

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