Precarious migrant entrepreneurship: gendered in-work poverty for new migrants in the UK
Dr Maria Villares-Varela and Carolynn Low, University of Southampton
The Dream of the Dram: Placemaking Through Rural Entrepreneurship in the Scottish Whisky Industry
Dr Shannon Harris, Dr Frank Siedlok and Dr Ziad Elsahn, Heriot Watt University
Within the context of rural entrepreneurship, we have developed an understanding of the hardships faced by ventures operating within remote areas. Issues such as lack of finance and unreliable infrastructure plague efficient operations and venture performance. However, even when facing such obstacles, ventures in these places often play an important role in community development, providing opportunities for employment, reducing inequalities, and alleviating poverty. As such, there is a call to consider the interactive nature of place and entrepreneurship, examining the role of rural entrepreneurs in creatively transforming their spatial contexts. To do so, this project examines the entrepreneurial placemaking of rural entrepreneurs in the Scottish whisky industry. Placemaking refers to a participatory process through which spaces are collectively shaped by diverse actors to maximise shared value. We focus on rural entrepreneurs as important place-makers who, through their entrepreneurial activities, imagine new meanings of place and redefine sustainable development by mobilising spatial dimensions. A Scottish whisky distillery is an effective research setting as the industry is experiencing ongoing transformation focused on sustainable economic and environmental development. These distilleries are often associated with a sense of heritage and provenance, providing opportunities to explore placemaking processes. We aim to capture rural entrepreneurs’ placemaking processes to inform academics and practitioners how to better incorporate characteristics of place into our understanding of this phenomenon and the impact this has on community resilience and sustainability.
Place-based Support for Rural Craft Entrepreneuring – How Does Context Matter?
Dr Inge Hill, Professor Richard Blundel and Professor Emma Bell, The Open University
This project uses a practice theory lens to investigate how business support is provided to creative firms in rural areas, with focus on craft businesses. It asks how context matters for place-based business support of rural craft entrepreneuring. Drawing on two comparative case studies in two rural locations in England and Scotland, in dispersed/remote rural and village/hamlet locations, this project develops a framework for discovering how business support unfolds, focusing on micro-exchange processes in business advice situations. The research applies an ethnographic research design, combining action research techniques with interviews of groups and individuals; the data analysis uses inductive thematic analysis. The project will identify key features of effective place-based strategic business support to develop resilient rural craft micro-businesses, both online and face-to-face. The investigator team will submit one journal article manuscript within the project time, a practice-oriented report, an adviser toolkit on how to support craft micro-businesses in different rural locations, co-created with the input of an advisory board consisting of practitioners (business advisers and craft professionals) and two academics. In collaboration with an ISBE SIG (e.g., Rural Entrepreneurship), a launch event will be organised for academics, policy makers and business support professionals online. Through this knowledge transfer, the project will deliver long-term impact by changing the way that UK business support is designed and delivered for rural craft industries.