Darja Reuschke, Colin Mason, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham
This introductory chapter discusses the rationale for connecting entrepreneurship with neighbourhoods and homes, presents the objectives and key questions of this volume and provides an overview of the book chapters. Major economic and societal changes that have led to an increase in micro businesses and non-farm self-employment are outlined and literatures and concepts in entrepreneurship research and urban and neighbourhood studies that are useful for understanding these changes discussed. The chapter highlights the home as entrepreneurial space and the household as unit of analysis for entrepreneurship studies. It argues that cities are places of small-scale businesses of all sorts, including home-based or mobile online businesses, that they accommodate a considerable self-employed workforce and that therefore scholars, policymakers and practitioners have to look beyond central business districts, high streets and designated business areas to detect and promote entrepreneurship in cities.
Darja Reuschke, Colin Mason, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham
This concluding chapter synthesises findings, discusses the role of homes, households and neighbourhoods for entrepreneurship, comments on methods and data needed to do research on the connections between entrepreneurship and homes and neighbourhoods, and finally presents ideas for future research. It argues that concepts of capital theory are key in understanding the links between home, households, neighbourhoods and entrepreneurship. It highlights three key findings: first, multiple resources for entrepreneurship are attributed to neighbourhoods; second, personal and household sources overlap and are closely interrelated; and, third, homes are sources of economic and social capital that are useful for entrepreneurship. The role of neighbourhoods and the domestic sphere for entrepreneurship underlines that not only are cities relevant for entrepreneurship, as they provide localisation and urbanisation benefits, but the symbolic value of some (creative) neighbourhoods can attract (would-be) entrepreneurs, a tolerant culture towards working mothers and ethnic minorities can foster entrepreneurial potential, and the variety of affordable commercial premises and housing helps business start-ups and growth. The chapter defines five areas of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship research: time–space patterns, entrepreneurial capital, social class, family embeddedness and well-being. Combining both quantitative and qualitative methods appears to be particularly fruitful for unravelling networks and neighbourhood characteristics relevant to entrepreneurial activity.
Neighbourhoods, Households and Homes
Edited by Colin Mason, Darja Reuschke, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham
Reinout Kleinhans, Darja Reuschke, Maarten van Ham, Colin Mason and Stephen Syrett
Until recently, entrepreneurship and neighbourhood studies were academic disciplines which rarely interacted with each other. However, recent macroeconomic and societal trends have pointed the spotlight on the nexus between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities, highlighting not only the importance of ‘the local’ in entrepreneurship, but also the huge gaps in our knowledge base regarding this tripartite relationship. In much of the literature, a distinction is drawn between entrepreneurship taking place in neighbourhoods or communities, and entrepreneurship taking place for neighbourhoods and communities. This chapter starts out from the international call for interdisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurship and firm formation to overcome entrepreneurship research and neighbourhood and community studies’ mutual neglect for one another’s fields of research. This introduction to a volume of chapters aims to shed light on the multiple relationships between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities across several countries. It asks how neighbourhoods and communities can shape entrepreneurship, a question for which the relevance stems from radical changes of (inter)national and regional labour markets and growing evidence that neighbourhood contexts impact on entrepreneurship and self-employment in various ways. It also asks the ‘reverse’ question: how does entrepreneurship influence neighbourhoods and communities? In doing so, the chapter (and many other chapters in the book) treat ‘community’ as a local, spatially embedded concept. Particular attention is devoted to community-based forms of enterprise and their potential for contemporary bottom-up neighbourhood regeneration.
Darja Reuschke, Reinout Kleinhans, Stephen Syrett, Maarten van Ham and Colin Mason
This chapter provides conclusions regarding all contributions to this volume, which has explored the under-researched interconnections between entrepreneurship, neighbourhoods and communities of place. The key concern has been to contribute to knowledge about how residential areas where people live (neighbourhoods) and interact with co-residents and other actors (communities) are simultaneously shaping entrepreneurship and are being shaped by entrepreneurial activity. It turns out that neighbourhood and community are not contrary but rather complementary concepts for understanding local entrepreneurship. For ‘residentially embedded entrepreneurs’, entrepreneurial activity tends to be related to local market conditions, needs and communities, while ‘residentially disembedded entrepreneurs’ have little or no connection with the local economy, neighbourhood and local place-based community. This volume has also extensively studied community enterprises. The view from entrepreneurship studies on how this type of enterprise can positively impact on neighbourhood development seems more optimistic than in neighbourhood studies where CEs were identified that do not (or cannot) act entrepreneurially in terms of profit seeking and innovation. In fact, ‘successful’ CEs have to balance the (often competing) priorities of innovation, financial stability, accountability to a wider public and long-term sustainability. Several directions for further research have been identified. First, impact and success of CEs are very difficult to assess because they operate in differing fields and timescales and deliver various social, economic and environmental benefits. Secondly, social capital is relevant for entrepreneurship and community enterprises (alongside other capital forms). Further research is required on the nature of and balance among different forms of social capital related to location, size and specific character of the community and to effectiveness and sustainability. Finally, the relationship with active citizenship and local governance merits further study, in particular collaborative arrangements which lead to the organisation, delivery and management of innovative projects by CEs.