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Entrepreneurial in-migrants and economic development in rural England
by Gary Bosworth
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 6, No. 3, 2008
Abstract: Counterurbanisation has generally been viewed as a negative phenomenon, but Stockdale and Findlay (2004) presented rural in-migration as potentially 'a catalyst for economic regeneration' based on in-migrants' business activity. More than half of rural microbusinesses in the North-East of England are owned by in-migrants and provide an estimated 10% of jobs in the rural North-East (Bosworth, 2006). In the light of these new drivers of rural development, exogenous and endogenous approaches alone are increasingly inadequate (Lowe et al., 1995; Murdoch, 2000; Terluin, 2003). Ray instead proposed Neo-Endogenous Development, defined as 'endogenous based development in which extra-local factors are recognised as essential but which retains belief in the potential of local areas to shape their future' (2001, p.4). Preliminary research suggests that in-migrants tend to retain more extensive business networks while developing valuable local contacts (Bosworth, 2006). As endogenous actors with diverse networks, in-migrants are well placed to strengthen connectivity with the 'extra-local' and introduce new vitality to rural economies.
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