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Title: Social and cultural capital in Gaeltacht entrepreneurship : the case of Donegal, Ireland
Author: Fox, Deirdre
ISNI:       0000 0004 5995 0086
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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The aim of this ethnographic case study was to explore the role of social and cultural capital in Gaeltacht entrepreneurship. A series of qualitative depth interviews and interactions took place over three years with twelve entrepreneurial cases engaged in business venturing within traditional textiles, seafood, seaweed processing and cultural tourism in a Donegal Gaeltacht (officially-designated Irish-speaking region of Ireland). This study reports that, despite disadvantages linked to an underdeveloped, socially deprived economic landscape, blighted with emigration, recessions and population decline, the resilience of this group of entrepreneurs offers hope for future regional development in this area. The deeply rooted social and cultural bonds of this community were found to be valuable resources that combine with collaborative competencies to bridge gaps of information and distance, bringing the world to this peripheral community and its entrepreneurs to distant markets. Three conceptual models new to the literature were developed comprising a matrix reflecting degrees of indigenousness and embeddedness in Gaeltacht entrepreneurship, a network model reflecting flows of socio-cultural capital activated in local and international markets and an empirically grounded conceptual "wheel" reflecting a suite of socio-cultural competencies and dispositions highlighting facilitators and barriers to Gaeltacht entrepreneurial development. This empirical analysis offers an insightful contribution and refines social and cultural capital theories in the context of indigenous entrepreneurship in developing economies. Policy implications include significant tourism potential for indigenous minority regions, if the full potential of an authentic differentiated place brand capturing the "meitheal" or umque indigenous socio-cultural capital of this Gaeltacht region were to be realised. Given the significance of political competencies in the entrepreneurial skill-set, it is argued that there are strong implications for further research a focus on policy measures for entrepreneurial venturing, implicating further a key role of socio-cultural competencies in regional economic development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available