Title: Dismantling the barriers to entrepreneurship in reindeer management in Finland

Authors: Janne Hukkinen, Hannu Heikkinen, Kaisa Raitio, Ludger Muller-Wille

Addresses: Laboratory of Environmental Protection, Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 2300, Otakaari 8, TKK, Espoo 02015, Finland. ' Department of Art Studies and Anthropology, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 1000, Snellmania 90014, Finland. ' Department of Social Policy, University of Joensuu, c/o Ajtte Swedish Mountain and Saami Museum, P.O. Box 116, Jokkmokk 96223, Sweden. ' Department of Geography, McGill University, Burnside 705, 805, rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada

Abstract: We will (1) show that reindeer herders in Finland have a long tradition of entrepreneurship; (2) identify administrative and policy obstacles to fulfilling the entrepreneurial capacities and (3) recommend actions to remove the obstacles to indigenous entrepreneurship among herders. Successful herders in Finland have embraced key entrepreneurial virtues: positioning themselves honestly with respect to their challenges, sparing resources and thinking strategically about the future. Unfortunately, government policy and administration in Finland do not facilitate the full utilisation of the virtues. However, policies and administrative structures can be reformed with carefully designed participatory approaches that rely on the expertise of herders, government officials and researchers of reindeer management. Our data comes from interviews, field visits and workshops organised during a three-year EU project on sustainable Reindeer Management (RENMAN). In addition, we have collected success stories of self-employment and entrepreneurship from four decades of fieldwork among herders in Finland.

Keywords: reindeer herding; indigenous entrepreneurship; self-employment; participatory approach; government policies; Finland; sustainable reindeer management; sustainable development; sustainability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2006.010932

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2006 Vol.3 No.6, pp.705 - 727

Published online: 18 Sep 2006 *

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