An empirical investigation of the role of rural development policies in stimulating rural entrepreneurship in the Lazio Region of Italy

Marcello De Rosa (Department of Economics and Law, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Gerard McElwee (Management Department, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Publication date: 9 February 2015



The purpose of the paper is to provide an analysis of the adoption of Rural Development Policies (Rdp) as the result of entrepreneurial behaviours carried out by family farms with a focus on the Lazio Region of Italy. Family farming is the backbone of the European model of agriculture. Rdp provide family farms with a set of opportunities which, if well exploited, could drum up farm’s development.


An empirical analysis of a data base provided by the Lazion region of Italy on the adoption of Rdp by family farms in the Lazio region for the period of 2007-2013. Cluster analysis is the main analytical tool used.


The results evidence significant differences in the adoption of rural policy on the basis of family life cycle and the composition of the family farm. The empirical analysis underlines the low degree of coherence by farms located in rural areas.

Practical implications

Farmers’ success in accessing funds requires them to be proactive and take a strategic perspective to convince funders that they have a coherent strategy which meets the requirements of the particular Rdp which they are trying to access.

Social implications

In terms of policy, a more nuanced understanding of the entrepreneurial nature of some practices in a rural setting and how they require multi-agency investigation.


The paper is unique, in that it considers the consumption of policy by farmers who are entrepreneurial in their vision. By consumption of Rdp, we mean the farmer’s strategic capability to obtain funds from regional funding pots for rural development.



De Rosa, M. and McElwee, G. (2015), "An empirical investigation of the role of rural development policies in stimulating rural entrepreneurship in the Lazio Region of Italy", Society and Business Review, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 4-22.

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