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Title: Harnessing entrepreneurship in deprived urban neighbourhoods : some lessons from Leeds
Author: Williams, Nick
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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Entrepreneurship is frequently recognised as a crucial element in economic growth. This has led policy makers to introduce a plethora of policies and strategies in the hope of harnessing higher levels of entrepreneurship. In the UK, rates of entrepreneurial activity, measured as business start-ups, are moderate by international standards. Furthermore, there are significant gaps in enterprise between the best and worst performing UK regions and localities. Deprived urban neighbourhoods exhibit stubbornly low levels of entrepreneurship, together with high levels of unemployment and worklessness. In response, the UK government has introduced policies aimed at harnessing entrepreneurship in deprived areas. The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the role that policy can play in harnessing entrepreneurship and enterprise culture in deprived urban neighbourhoods through an understanding of the perceptions, attitudes and barriers to engagement in entrepreneurship and enterprise culture in these areas. To achieve this, it analyses: 1. the policies employed to promote entrepreneurship at national and subnational levels, particularly in deprived urban neighbourhoods (DUNs); 2. the extent of entrepreneurship in DUNs compared with other areas; 3. attitudes towards entrepreneurship in DUNS, in major part through an examination of perceptions of entrepreneurship among the population of DUNs; and 4. the barriers faced by entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs in DUNs. Analysing the perceptions, attitudes and barriers to entrepreneurship in deprived urban neighbourhoods in Leeds, and the current deficits in start-up rates between deprived areas and the English average, the thesis finds that it is not just the traditional policy intervention of encouraging start-ups that is required but also that attention needs to paid to the 'quality' of the start-ups being assisted, especially since the majority of businesses started in DUNs are likely to have little impact on the economic performance of their local area. The study also finds that traditional emphases on opportunity versus necessity, and for-profit versus social, entrepreneurial motivations, are over-simplistic when describing the motivations of entrepreneurs. The resultant argument is that a holistic approach to fostering economic development in DUNs is required, of which harnessing entrepreneurship should be an element rather than a key aim of intervention.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available