Innovation as a competitive advantage for rural entrepreneurship
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg will conduct a study of small-scale farming and alcoholic beverage production in the countryside. The aim of the study is to investigate innovation as a competitive advantage for rural entrepreneurship.
Ethan Gifford and Daniel Ljungberg, both researchers in innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Gothenburg, will explore the conditions for entrepreneurship and innovative activities in the countryside. They will investigate firms in countryside locations in two regions in Sweden: Västra Götaland and Halland. Their focus will be on small-scale farming and small-scale alcoholic beverage production, such as micro-scale breweries and wineries.
Gifford and Ljungberg aim to conduct qualitative research through multiple case studies of existing countryside entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms.
- The goal is to uncover innovative practices currently in use or in development, and how lessons from more successful innovators can be translated into more general advice or guidelines for other countryside-based entrepreneurs, says Ethan Gifford.
Why is the project important from a societal perspective?
Countryside entrepreneurship is facing a ‘creative destruction’ of old business practices and business models, leading to new conditions for survival and growth. This is a result of aging and increasingly mobile populations, changing demographics, and changes in technology. Small businesses must become more innovative and improve their products, services, and processes to become more competitive in the long run, in order to maintain a healthy culture of self-employment, as well as the positive spill-over effects on their local economy, that is vital for these regions of Swedish society.
- This is a highly relevant issue for small-scale alcohol and food, as each branch is under different kinds of institutional, social, and economic pressure to innovate, improve their product offerings and efficiency, and become more competitive in the long run, says Ethan Gifford
Moreover, through innovation and entrepreneurship, society is increasing its chances of fulfilling or at least progressing towards the grand challenges and sustainable development goals set by international governmental organizations like the United Nations.
Title of project: Innovation as a competitive advantage for rural entrepreneurship in West Sweden: A study of small-scale farming and alcoholic beverage production
The project is financed by The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research and Charity. The total amount is SEK 1 600 000 and covers two years of research.
The Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research and Charity: https://familjenkampradsstiftelse.se/in-english/