The Arcadian Enterprise : an enquiry into the nature and conditions of rural small business
This thesis is a study of rural entrepreneurship which attempts to understand what it is that rural entrepreneurs do within the rural context. Our understanding of entrepreneurship is fragmentary, often narrowly focused and discipline bound. Entrepreneurial theory lacks even a limiting definition of the phenomenon. As Bartlett 1988 claims, it is an intellectual onion; if you keep peeling off the layers you are left with nothing and come away in tears. This seems to suggest that entrepreneurship is a process rather than an entity. Furthermore, a major focus of entrepreneurial research has been the entrepreneur as an individual, yet paradoxically, entrepreneurship is essentially a social act. Accordingly the central argument of this thesis is that in order to understand the entrepreneur we must place entrepreneurial action in its social context, we must study the process of entrepreneurship. This study therefore endeavours to investigate the actions of the entrepreneur in one context, rurality. Consequently this study is a detailed examination of a rural environment and the interrelationships of this environment and entrepreneurs. Its purpose is to try to establish the nature of the relationships between rurality and to specify the conditions of the entrepreneurial process.