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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Sustainability
Volume (Issue) 2016(8)
Page(s) 745
Title of proceedings Sustainability
DOI 10.3390/su8080745

Open Access

URL http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/8/8/745
Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)

Abstract

Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are able to bridge the rural–urban divide by accessing some of the urban features, such as knowledge and markets, while at the same time profiting from the advantages of their peripheral location. This paper highlights exploratory results from qualitative interviews with rural entrepreneurs, and we illustrate entrepreneurial linkages to urban centers. The interview data show that rural entrepreneurs with rural–urban linkages develop sensibility for core market demands and trends, they valuate rural assets, and they combine rural and urban sources of knowledge for innovation. Through their entrepreneurial activity, rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas might constitute an opposite force to polarizing concentration of economic activities in cities. Hence, rural entrepreneurs with urban linkages might contribute to sustainable economic relationships between urban and rural areas.
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