Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Sara Carter, Elisabet Ljunggren and Friederike Welter
Chapter 16: Agricultural and Forestry Entrepreneurship: Learning from the Experience of an Aboriginal Community in Canada
Jean-Michel Beaudoin, Luc LeBel and Luc Bouthillier In the early 1990s, the Aboriginal community of Mashteuiatsh (Québec, Canada) opted for a model of community entrepreneurship to support its economic development. The results point towards the key role played by the community to facilitate entrepreneurial initiatives in the forestry sector. The public businesses created by the Band Council, during the early stage of development, offered knowledge and experience to the workers who have become today’s entrepreneurs. Moreover, the Band Council instituted a supportive environment for new firms and has been an effective business incubator. We believe that the Mashteuiatsh model of development presented in our study is transferable, at least at some level, to other Aboriginal communities throughout the world. Mashteuiatsh, like many forestdependent communities, is also connected within a region characterized by a significant farm-based economy. The similarities and functional proximity between these sectors suggest that our observations in Mashteuiatsh are likely to be transferable from forest- to farm-based communities. INTRODUCTION There exists a close relationship between the agricultural and forestry sectors, whether it occurs in Canada or in Europe. Indeed, the European Commission has recognized that “agriculture and forestry are the main land users and play a key role in the management of natural resources in rural areas and in determining the rural landscape” (European Communities 1995–2009). Moreover, forest entrepreneurs have historically emerged from the agriculture sector (Mercure 1996; MacDonald and Clow 1999; ENFE 2000; Legendre 2005), and agricultural households are often engaged in forestry (Eikeland and...
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