Authors: Martti Saarela; Harri Jokela; Eija-Riitta Niinikoski; Matti Muhos; Pekka Leviäkangas
Addresses: Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland ' Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, 90014, Finland
Abstract: In Europe, the public sector allocates a significant amount of resources to entrepreneurship support through subsidies and public advisory services. Typically, public entrepreneurship support is provided without any expectation of direct returns. However, there is a lack of information about the efficiency and effectiveness of these actions. Entrepreneurs in northern sparsely populated areas face context-specific challenges as they operate in the market. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impacts of local action group funding to microenterprises in a northern sparsely populated area. This is a retrospective, single-case study focusing on a sparsely populated area in Northern Finland. The study is based on 25 semi-structured enterprise interviews. Multiple perspectives are analysed in the interviews. This study investigates what the influence was of public local rural financial support from microenterprise entrepreneurs' perspectives. As a result of this case study, the role of public business advisory services for the entrepreneurs in local rural funding process is also clarified. Results can contribute to the effectiveness of public business subsidies, improving the processes to correspond more effectively to case-specific needs of microenterprises.
Keywords: business advisory services; business subsidies; sparsely populated areas; local action groups; LAG; microenterprises; firm level impact; local funding; public funding; entrepreneurship support; Finland; rural areas; case study.
International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2016 Vol.19 No.3, pp.299 - 313
Received: 15 Aug 2014
Accepted: 25 Sep 2014
Published online: 17 Feb 2016 *