Agglomeration, Clusters and Entrepreneurship

Agglomeration, Clusters and Entrepreneurship

Studies in Regional Economic Development

New Horizons in Regional Science series

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough

Regional economic development has experienced considerable dynamism over recent years. Perhaps the most notable cases were the rise of China and India to emergent country status by the turn of the millennium. With time now for hindsight, this book identifies some of the key forces behind these development successes, namely agglomeration, clusters and entrepreneurship.

Chapter 7: Side-activity entrepreneur: lifestyle or economically oriented?

Marianna Markantoni, Sierdjan Koster and Dirk Strijker

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, economics and finance, economics of innovation, regional economics, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, urban and regional studies, clusters, regional economics


Rural areas are increasingly becoming places of consumption rather than merely places of agricultural production (Ilbery, 1998). Although agriculture is the hub of the rural economy, rural employment is no longer dominated only by agricultural activities. Instead, many other activities have sprung up, such as those related to the service sector, tourism/ leisure, landscape management, water management, industry and manufacturing (Strijker, 2000; Van Depoele, 2000). Van Depoele (2000) argues that the word 'rural' is no longer synonymous with 'farming' and that non-agricultural employment is increasing in rural areas; that is, farmers are increasingly becoming part-time farmers. In addition, the decreasing number of farms has contributed to the replacement of agricultural activities by new economic activities (Daalhuizen et al., 2003; North and Smallbone, 1995; O'Connor et al., 2006). All are components of a larger economic change in rural areas away from agriculture and industrial production and toward a more service-intensive economy. According to Ilbery (1998), where agricultural employment in rural areas is in decline, new activities can be a substitute. In particular, tourism and environmental conservation are creating multiple development trajectories in rural areas (Murdoch and Marsden, 1994). Furthermore, the countryside can offer new avenues for activities, such as campsites, nature development/recreational sites in rural areas, bed and breakfasts, and service firms in old farmhouses. In this chapter, we focus on these new activities, especially side activities that provide extra income for the rural household.

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