Academic journal article American Journal of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Profile, Characteristics, Expectations, and Outcomes - an Empirical Study to Compare Rural Entrepreneurs with Urban Entrepreneurs

Academic journal article American Journal of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurial Profile, Characteristics, Expectations, and Outcomes - an Empirical Study to Compare Rural Entrepreneurs with Urban Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

Acknowledgement: The author is grateful to the funding supported by the USDA NIFA AFRI program grant number 2011-67023-30106 and the USDA Hatch Grant 2011-2014 for conducting research with respect to rural entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship researchers seem to agree that entrepreneurs recognize and exploit emerging business opportunities through new venture creation (Allen, 1995; Ardichhvili, Cardozo, & Ray, 1993). Many also recognize that entrepreneurs in creating new ventures add employment, income, wealth and quality of life to their communities. The impacts of entrepreneurial actions and decisions have been clearly documented and reported, however most of the discussions focus on job creation and wealth distributions in urban areas or high-population density regions associated with intensive technology innovations. Rural communities face difference challenges compared to urban areas. Shortage of skilled and qualified labor, lack of investment incentives, and limited resources and opportunities often threaten entrepreneurial decisions in new venture creation and economic development. Rural developers who have followed the traditional industry attraction strategy have realized that entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship may offer an alternative approach, grow your own, to develop their communities. Many issues need to be examined before establishing frameworks to design, promote, and encourage rural entrepreneurship, such as (1) are there any significant differences between rural entrepreneurs and urban entrepreneurs? (2) do urban or rural locations make any differences for entrepreneurs in the pursuit if their own opportunities in new venture creation? and (3) do urban and rural entrepreneurs assess their expectations and outcomes the same way in venture formation process?

The focus of this paper is to introduce an empirical study using survey data collected from both rural and urban entrepreneurs. The purpose of this study is to discover if and to what extent rural entrepreneurs differ from their urban counterparts with respect to characteristics, and expectations/outcomes associated with new venture decision. We believe that it would be essential to study rural/urban entrepreneurs' expectations, their characteristics, the challenges and barriers of new venture formation, and the outcomes and impacts of starting a new venture on individuals and their families. First, much of the research on rural entrepreneurship has focused on the institutional structures and environment, and how policy can be established or changed to foster entrepreneurial development. There is limited discussion about how rural entrepreneurs and urban entrepreneurs might be different given their endowed nature of being entrepreneurs. Secondly, it may be instructive to discover if rural entrepreneurs are really different from urban entrepreneurs with respect to individual decision-making process and entrepreneurial mindset before establishing rural development strategies and policies. Finally, little research has been devoted to discovering if rural entrepreneurs are different from entrepreneurs generally or from urban entrepreneurs specifically prior to or after new venture formation, how their mindset might be changed in the process of new venture creation, and any impacts of new venture creation on their families.

Literature review

Research on entrepreneurial characteristics generally has discussed high achievement drive, action oriented, internal locus of control, tolerance for ambiguity, moderate risk taking, commitment, opportunistic, initiative, independence, commitment/tenacity, creativity, and optimism (Liang & Dunn, 2003; Malach-Pines, Sadeh, Dvir, & Yafe-Yanai, 2002; Crane & Sohl, 2004; Liang & Dunn, 2008). Many scholars have attempted to design and create conceptual frameworks that would generalize entrepreneurial individuals' traits and profile. There is still no conclusive discussion with respect to who entrepreneurs are and what entrepreneurs are like. …

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