Marlow, S. (2004), "Editorial", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 10 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijebr.2004.16010eaa.001
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In issue five we have an interesting combination of papers which brings together notions of policy and theory so for example, the paper by Hanley and O’Gorman focuses very much on support policies but in this instance, for micro firms. The authors note that whilst support initiatives for small firms per se have been a feature of government policy within Europe for some years, a specific focus upon micro firms, which it is suggested, comprises of approximately 75 percent of all private sector employment, has not been developed. Taking the example of Ireland, the efficacy of such a policy is evaluated to establish to what extent it is meeting the objectives of government, local support agencies and firm owners themselves. This is a particularly apposite area for discussion given the continued interest in the value of support initiatives and the challenges regarding evaluation. In contrast to this focus upon policy, Morawska develops a theoretical model linking structure and agency to the relationship between immigrant entrepreneurship in the USA and assimilation into the host society. The key arguments are illustrated with an exploration of three differing groups of immigrant entrepreneurs operating in various sectors of the economy in New York. This is a most interesting consideration of the manner in which socio-economic and spatial location will shape the experience of assimilation. Finally in this issue, Carrier et al. consider cyber-entrepreneurship which is defined as an enterprise based upon the use of electronic commerce. As new information technologies are becoming ever more influential upon business activity, this is a growing area of research and interest. The paper explores this process with five detailed case studies of cyber-entrepreneurs based in Canada with the findings describing the emergence and creation of such enterprises and analysing the strategies and competitive elements preferred by such firm owners.
In issue six, we present three papers that draw upon the common feature of rurality as context but explore how this context is shaped by differing influences. So, for instance, Warren Smith and Jackson link the concept of gender and rurality in their discussion of on-farm enterprises. The authors note the pressure upon farmers to diversify away from food production which has led to a growing number of “on-farm” enterprises however, it emerges that the majority of these are owned and managed by the female partners of farmers and farm managers. The manner in which isolation, rurality and gender come together in such circumstances is considered and in particular, the impact of a specific support programme for such women, WiRE is explored and evaluated. In the paper by Burnett and Danson, issues of theory and policy are again combined. It is again recognised that much investment has been made into supporting rural enterprise and diversification but taking the example of quality Scottish food production, the authors argue that the location and production processes underpinning such enterprise is so heterogeneous that broad based policy initiatives may have limited impact. As such, the problem of addressing a complex and varied national landscape is not fully acknowledged within applied policies or by policy makers themselves. The final paper by Stathopoulou et al. continues the rural focus but in this case, provides an integrated view of rural entrepreneurship and suggests an agenda for future research in this area. This discussion concentrates very much upon the concept of rurality, how this might be viewed as a dynamic entrepreneurial resource and taking into consideration these issues, how integrated and competent policies might be generated to support such enterprise. Hence, these three papers, whilst drawing upon a common concept, that of rurality demonstrate the complexity and heterogeneity of basic terms and the importance of exploring them in detail.