Urve Venesaar and Merle Küttim
Entrepreneurship is widely acknowledged as a main driver of regional development, but substantial and persistent differences exist in entrepreneurial activity across nations and regions, especially core and peripheral areas. These differences can be explained using a cognitive approach that allows analysing entrepreneurship through entrepreneurs’ motivations and perceptions, generating attitudes and intentions which determine behaviours. The aim of the chapter is to identify and compare individuals’ entrepreneurial perceptions in core and peripheral regions, and assess their connection with entrepreneurial activity in different phases of entrepreneurship. It is based on the Estonian Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2013 data involving 1741 respondents including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The chapter shows that good entrepreneurial opportunities for starting a business are perceived by potential entrepreneurs in the periphery, although realising the intentions to start with business is problematic in the periphery due to the restrictions stemming from individual and socio-cultural perceptions or other formal and informal factors. The results of the study contribute towards explaining the differences in the activity levels of different phases of entrepreneurship in the selected regions (core and periphery) and towards finding policy proposals on how to support the growth of entrepreneurial activity in the periphery.