Editorial: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in Small Islands (Editorial) - Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Editorial: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in Small Islands (Editorial)

By Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship

  • Release Date - Published: 2006-09-22
  • Book Genre: Business & Personal Finance
  • Author: Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
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Editorial: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development in Small Islands (Editorial) Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship read online review & book description:

An entrepreneur is defined eclectically as a person who, driven by opportunity, organizes and manages a business and assumes the risk for the sake of profit (Guralnik, 1980). This definition, however, tells us nothing about how difficult or easy it may be for such an entrepreneur to develop in a particular geographical, regional, socio-economic or cultural context. Nor does it tell us whether the act of being an entrepreneur renders this activity exceptional, habitual or anywhere in between the members of a particular social group. Are entrepreneurial skills really scarce by definition? And can the experience, nature and overall challenges of entrepreneurship be somehow patterned in terms of geographical context? The focus of our particular concern here is with small island societies. These often have to contend with the various implications of their islandness when it comes to "doing business": limited land area and finite resources; limited domestic markets and client bases; physical isolation which means that significant transport costs come into play in order to access distant alternative markets; and with local consumption patterns--often managed by a powerful local mercantile elite--that prefer imports from the metropole to locally made commodities. Even where small island territories have good quality and competitive products, there are difficulties in sourcing effective research and development capability, skilled human resources, suitable terms for financing and/or appropriate technology. Moreover, local entrepreneurial skills are deemed to be scarce and local business sectors seen as relatively small and narrow-based, concerned predominantly with providing for the basic needs of the local population with products having low value-added content, as opposed to export and related activities dealing in higher value added. Finally, the more common strategy and attitude amongst islanders appear to favour intrapreneurship, where individuals seek to become innovative and creative within the confines and protection of an existing public or private organization (Armstrong et al., 1993; Dolman, 1985; Doumenge, 1985: 86; Encontre, 1999; Fischer and Encontre, 1998; Payne, 1987). Note that these observations apply generally to all island societies, increasingly so with decreasing size of the resident island population, and irrespective of whether these islands are listed as having developed or developing economies.

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