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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

How online communities are important for rural entrepreneurial change : the library revolt

Jonsson, Josefina; Gaddefors, Johan



This study aims to discuss how an online community interacts with a local community during the entrepreneurial process. By having a contextualized view of entrepreneurship, this study acknowledges the social and spatial dynamics of the process.


The inductive approach used in this study is empirically anchored in the case “the library revolt”. This paper analysed interviews conducted in a selected region in Sweden and followed a netnographic method to capture the social interactions online. By using qualitative modes of inquiry, this study attempts to illuminate the social aspects of the entrepreneurial process.


This study shows how social media works as a contextual element in entrepreneurship. By presenting interactions between an online community and a rural community, it is shown how entrepreneurial processes in rural areas can be shaped not only through local community relations but also by online interaction. It illustrates how an online context, where actors are located with their own unique set of resources, contributes to rural development. By being a part of an ongoing process of structuration, we can view the actors are gaining access to the resources online, which contributes to the change happening in a local community.


This study adds to the conversation of the role of context in entrepreneurship studies. Rural entrepreneurship largely discusses the local social bonds and actions, while this study includes the online social bonds as a part of the reality in which entrepreneurship is developed.


Entrepreneurship; Online community; Local community; Context; Embeddedness; Rural

Published in

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy
2023, Volume: 17, number: 4, pages: 815-833

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
      SDG10 Reduced inequalities

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Human Geography
      Communication Studies
      Media Studies

      Publication identifier


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