Cross-Border Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Europe’s Border Regions
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Cross-Border Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Europe’s Border Regions

Edited by David Smallbone, Friederike Welter and Mirela Xheneti

This topical study focuses on entrepreneurship and economic development in Europe’s border regions. It highlights the effects of EU enlargement in these regions – both within the EU and in neighbouring countries – paying particular attention to cross-border entrepreneurial activity.
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Chapter 11: Public policy and cross-border entrepreneurship in EU border regions: an enabling or constraining influence?

David Smallbone and Mirela Xheneti


Cross-border entrepreneurship (CBE) refers to forms of entrepreneurial activity that cross international borders and which usually involve some form of cooperation. It offers potential benefits for regions as well as for individual enterprises. For entrepreneurs, it offers an opportunity to access new markets and sources of supply, as well as capital, labour and technology. Cross-border entrepreneurship may contribute to positive externalities on both sides of the border for regions that are typically peripheral to the core of economic activity in their national territories. In this context, cross-border entrepreneurship may be viewed as a potential asset for regional development that policy makers can actively promote. A wide range of different types of entrepreneurial activity can take place across international borders, from informal petty trading activity at one extreme to formalized joint ventures and strategic alliances between enterprises at the other. At a global level, the increasing internationalization of production systems inevitably leads to the development of cross-border operations, in forms that include subcontracting, joint ventures and franchise arrangements (Weaver, 2000). Whilst some forms may represent long-term cooperation, others may have a limited life, according to the circumstances which led to their creation. Moreover, whilst some links may be between two SMEs, others may involve some form of cooperation arrangement between SMEs and larger companies, whilst some of the simpler forms may involve individual entrepreneurs rather than businesses. Creating a policy environment to enable and facilitate productive forms of cross-border entrepreneurship may be viewed as a necessary part of the regional development strategies for these border regions

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