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Other publication, 2012

Mixed embeddedness and rural entrepreneurship

Ferguson, Richard; Gaddefors, Johan; Korsgaard, Steffen


Entrepreneurship is a key driver of development in rural areas. Studies have shown that in-migrants and returnees are overrepresented among rural entrepreneurs, and that their entrepreneurship might be more important for local development than local entrepreneurs at least in terms of economic value creation. It is likely that the reason for this lies in the importance of embeddedness. Studies have shown that local embeddedness is a source of opportunities for rural entrepreneurs, yet also indicate that being overly embedded can inhibit entrepreneurial activites. It thus seems that a form of mixed embeddedness, of the kind that in-migrants and returnees are likely to embody, is conducive to entrepreneurial activity. In this paper we explore the nature and function of mixed embeddedness of rural entrepreneurs. We do this through a qualitative multiple case study of rural entrepreneurs in the Nordic countries. Preliminary results suggest that mixed embeddedness is in fact important and that this may be the reason for the overrepresentation of in-migrants and returnees. Furthermore, it seems that mixed embeddedness enables a bridging of social and spatial contexts.


Rural entrepreneurship Embeddedness Rural development

Published in

Book title: Rural at the edge: The 2nd nordic conference for rural research 21st - 23rd of May 2012, Book of abstracts / Tuija Mononen, Eeva Uusitalo, Eila Atho (eds)
Publisher: The finnish society for rural research and development