Entrepreneurship in Cities

Entrepreneurship in Cities

Neighbourhoods, Households and Homes

Entrepreneurship, Space and Place series

Edited by Colin Mason, Darja Reuschke, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham

Entrepreneurship in Cities focuses on the neglected role of the home and the residential neighbourhood context for entrepreneurship and businesses within cities. The overall objective of the book is to develop a new interdisciplinary perspective that links entrepreneurship research with neighbourhood and urban studies. A key contribution is to show that entrepreneurship in cities is more than agglomeration economies and high-tech clusters. This is the first book to connect entrepreneurship with neighbourhoods and homes, recognising that business activity in the city is not confined to central business districts, high streets and industrial estates but is also found in residential neighbourhoods. It highlights the importance of home-based businesses for the economy of cities. These often overlooked types of businesses and workers significantly contribute to the ‘buzz’ that makes cities favourable places to live and work.

Chapter 9: Deprived neighbourhoods as capital for enterprises

Franz Flögel and Stefan Gärtner

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, urban and regional studies, urban studies


This chapter approaches deprived neighbourhoods as a resource for business activities. It develops the concept of ‘spatial enterprise’ based on non-traditional entrepreneurial concepts that do not incorporate space (for example, the social enterprise concept). It discusses whether, and in which ways, underused spaces are an important resource for the success of enterprises in deprived urban neighbourhoods. The formation, development and impact of enterprises in deprived neighbourhoods in two German cities are investigated. The eight case studies show that insufficiently used spatial resources, for example an abandoned church, are important for the formation and success of enterprises in these areas. Place-based networks are relevant in most, but not all, cases. Social impact in the neighbourhoods was created by the acquisition and re-use of vacant buildings, the organisation of cultural events, the supply of services for specific local demands, or support for socially disadvantaged people. The chapter concludes that spatial enterprises help improve and stabilise deprived neighbourhoods, because they can gain advantages from apparently disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and these enterprises create social impact in deprived neighbourhoods in return.

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