By using the Triple Helix model, the purpose of this paper is to uncover the perceptions of nascent entrepreneurs about a university–industry–government collaboration program, in particular about the role of each agent to foster rural entrepreneurship; the value and effect of this collaboration; and their own contributions to local development.
A qualitative case study method is adopted, involving semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs and secondary data. The text is analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
The interaction of the Triple Helix partners is perceived as valuable both at the personal and the business levels. One of the most salient results is the value ascribed to the knowledge-rich environment created. Entrepreneurs are aware of their contribution to local development, identifying economic, social and cultural effects.
The research strengthens the importance of the joint efforts of the Triple Helix partners by uncovering a number of outputs from their collaboration, which affect both the entrepreneurs and local development through entrepreneurship.
Previous studies assume that the Triple Helix fosters technological innovation that favors regional development, mainly by adopting a macro-level perspective. This study makes a contribution by furthering the knowledge on the micro-level dynamics of the Triple Helix, through the view of low tech, rural entrepreneurs, considering their context.
Sá, E., Casais, B. and Silva, J. (2019), "Local development through rural entrepreneurship, from the Triple Helix perspective: The case of a peripheral region in northern Portugal", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 4, pp. 698-716. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-03-2018-0172
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