Rural Technology-Based Entrepreneurs

Catalonian Experiences
Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 22)


Entrepreneurship is now an important element of economic growth and prosperity for many regions of the world. Entrepreneurial activity has positive repercussions on employment generation (Storey 1982, 1988, 1994; Birley 1985; Kirchhoff and Phillips 1988, 1992; White and Reynolds 1996) and on economic growth (Kent 1982; Sexton 1986; Dubini 1989; Storey 1994; Wennekers and Thurik 1999). But according to a US National Commission on Entrepreneurship report (NCOE 2001) the most important contribution of entrepreneurship at the local level is “innovation.” Entrepreneurship and innovation, combined, have four principal benefits (NCOE 2001, p. 1):
  • Improved quality of life

  • Creation of new jobs

  • Improved economic competitiveness

  • Creation of economic growth and new wealth

The local spillover benefits of innovative entrepreneurship are profound ( Drucker 1984, 1985; Pavitt et al. 1987; Acs and Audretsch 1988; Acs and Varga 2004). Since World War II, small entrepreneurs in the USA have been responsible for 67% of inventions and 95% of radical innovations (Timmons 1998) , fuelling job creation and economic growth. As a result, promoting technology-based firms has a fundamental role in regional development strategies.


Geographic Information System Entrepreneurial Activity Location Decision Location Choice Institutional Approach 


  1. Acs, Z.J. and D.B. Audretsch (1988) Innovation in large and small firmsFirms: An empirical analysis. The American Economic Review 78(4), 678–690.Google Scholar
  2. Acs, Z.J. and A. Varga (2004) Entrepreneurship, agglomeration and technological change. Paper presented at the First GEM Research Conference, 1–3 April, Berlin.Google Scholar
  3. Alonso, L.F. (1999) Modelos de crecimiento y cambios espaciales recientes en las ciudades españolas: Un panorama desde el fin de siglo. Papeles de Economía Española 80, 231–247.Google Scholar
  4. Alonso, W. (1964) LocationLocation and Land Use. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Arauzo, J.M. (2005) Determinants of industrial location: An application for Catalan municipalities. Papers in Regional Science 84(1), 105–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arauzo, J.M. and M.C. ManjónManjón (2004) Firm size and geographical aggregation: An empirical appraisal in industrial locationLocation. Small Business Economics 22, 299–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arauzo, J.M. and E. Viladecans (2006) Industrial locationLocation at the intra-metropolitan level: A negative binomial approach. Estudios de Economía Española 224, FEDEA.Google Scholar
  8. Audretsch, D.B., E. Lehmann and S. Warning (2005) University spillovers and new firm location. Research PolicyPolicy 34, 1113–1122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Autant-BernardAutant-Bernard, C., V. Mangematin and N. Massard (2006) Creation of biotech SMEs in France. Small Business Economics 26, 173–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bade, F.J. and E.A. Nerlinger (2000) The spatial distribution of new technologyTechnology-based firmsFirms: Empirical results for West-Germany. Papers in Regional Science 79, 155–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Birley, S. (1985) The role of networksNetworks in the entrepreneurialEntrepreneurial process. Journal of Business Venturing 1, 107–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Boix, R. and J. Trullén (2007) Knowledge, networks of cities and growth in regional urban systems. Papers in Regional Science 86(4), 551–574.Google Scholar
  13. Callejón, M. and M. Costa (1996) Geografía de la producción Incidencia de las externalidades en la localización de las actividades en España. Información Comercial Española 754, 39–49.Google Scholar
  14. Capello, R. (2007) Regional Economics. New York: Routledge Advanced Texts in Economics and Finance.Google Scholar
  15. Chapman, K. and D. Walker (1991) Industrial LocationLocation. Principles and Policies. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  16. Christaller, W. (1933) Central Places in Southern GermanyGermany. Translated by C.W. Baskin (1966). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  17. Garcia Coll, A.G. and D.S. Sanchez Aguilera (2004) La población rural en Catalunya: Entre el declive y la revitalización. In Nuevas dinámicas territoriales en el medio rural de Cataluña. Barcelona:Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (BSO2002-02528).Google Scholar
  18. Costa, M.T., A. Segarra and E. Viladecans (2000) Business dynamics and territorial flexibility. Paper presented at the 40th European Congress of the Regional Science Association, Barcelona.Google Scholar
  19. Costa, M.T., A. Segarra and E. Viladecans (2004) The locationLocation of new firmsFirms and the life cycle of industries. Small Business Economics 22, 265–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cotorruelo, R. and A. Vázquez (1997) Nuevas pautas de localización de las empresas industriales en España. In A. Vázquez, G. Garofoli and J.P. Gilly (eds.), Gran Empresa y Desarrollo Económico. Madrid: Síntesis, 171–214.Google Scholar
  21. Drucker, P. (1984) Our entrepreneurial economy. Harvard Business Review 62(1), 59–64.Google Scholar
  22. Drucker, P.F. (1985) Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  23. Dubini, P. (1989) The influence of motivations and environment on business start-ups: Some hints for public policies. Journal of Business Venturing 4(1), 11–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Egeln, J., S. Gottschalk and C. Rammer (2004) Location decisions of spin-offs from public research institutions. Industry and Innovation 11(3), 207–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. European Commission (1997) Rural developments. CAP2000 Working Document, V/1117/97, July.Google Scholar
  26. Felsenstein, D. (1996) High technologyTechnology firmsFirms and metropolitan locational choice in Israel: A look at the determinants. Geografiska Annaler Series B Human Geography 78(1), 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Figueiredo, O., P. Guimarães and D. Woodward (2002) Home-field advantage: Location decision of Portuguese entrepreneurs. Journal of Urban Economics 52, 341–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Galbraith, C.S. (1985) High-technology location and development: The case of Orange County. California Management Review 28(1), 98–109.Google Scholar
  29. Grimes, S. (2000) Rural areas in the information society: Diminishing distance or increasing learning capacity? Journal of Rural Studies 16(1), 13–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Grinstein, A. and A. Goldman (2006) Characterizing the technology firm: An exploratory study. Research Policy 35, 121–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hayter, R. (1997) The dynamics of industrial location: The factory, the firm and the production system. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  32. Holl, A. (2004) Manufacturing location and impacts of road transport infrastructure: Empirical evidence from Spain. Regional Science and Urban Economics 34, 341–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hoover, E. (1948) The Location of Economic Activity. New York:McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  34. Jacobs, J. (1969) The Economy of Cities. New York: Vintage Books.Google Scholar
  35. Johnson, P. and D. Cathcart (1979) New manufacturing firmsFirms and regional development: Some evidence from the Northern region. Regional Studies 13, 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kent, C.A. (1982) Entrepreneurship in economic development. In C.A. Kent, D.L. Sexton and K.H. Vesper (eds.), Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Chap. 12, 237–256.Google Scholar
  37. Kirchhoff, B.A. and B.D. Phillips (1988) The effect of firm formation and growth on job creation in the United States. Journal of Business Venturing 3, 261–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kirchhoff, B.A. and B.D. Phillips (1992) Research applications of the small business data base of the U.S. small business administration. In D.L. Sexton and J.D. Kasarda (eds.), The State of the Art of Entrepreneurship Boston, MA: PWS-KENT, Chap. 10, 243–267.Google Scholar
  39. Klepper, S. (1996) Entry, exitExit, growth and innovation over the product life cycle. American Economic Review 86, 562–583.Google Scholar
  40. Koberg, C.S., N. Uhlenbruck and Y. Sarason (1996) Facilitators of organizational innovation: The role of life-cycle stage. Journal of Business Venturing 11, 133–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Krugman, P. (1981) Trade, accumulation, and uneven development. Journal of Development Economics 8, 149–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Krugman, P. (1991) Geography and Trade. Leuven: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Lafuente, E., Y. Vaillant and J. Rialp (2007) Regional differences in the influence of role-models: Comparing the entrepreneurial process of rural Catalonia. Regional Studies 41, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. LöschLösch, A. (1954) The Economics of Location. Translated by W.H. Woglom and W.F. Stolper. New Haven, CT: Yale University.Google Scholar
  45. Malecki, E.J. and S.L. Bradbury (1992) R&D facilities and professional labour: Labor force dynamics in high technology. Regional Studies 26(2), 123–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Marshall, A. (1920) Principles of Economics. London:Macmillan.Google Scholar
  47. Meyer, M. (2003) Academic entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial academics? Research-based ventures and public support mechanisms. R&D Management 33, 107–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Muth, R.F. (1969) Cities and Housing. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  49. Myrdal, D. (1957) Economic Theory and Underdeveloped Regions. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  50. NCOE (2001) Embracing innovation: Entrepreneurship and American economic growth. National Commission on Entrepreneurship White Paper, 1–11.Google Scholar
  51. North, D., D. Smallbone and I. Vickers (2001) Public support policy for innovative SME’s. Small Business Economics 16, 303–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. OECD (1996) Territorial indicators of employment focusing on rural development. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  53. OECD (2003) Classification of manufacturing industries based on technology. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  54. OECD (2006) The new rural paradigm: Policy and governance. Working Paper on Territorial Policy in Rural Areas. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  55. OECD (2007) Rural Policy Review: Mexico. Paris: OECD.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ouwersloot, H. and P. Rietveld (2000) The geography of R&D: Tobit analysis and a Bayesian approach to mapping R&D activities in the Netherlands. Environment and Planning 32, 1673–1688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Pavitt, K., M. Robson and J. Townsend (1987) The size distribution of innovating firms in the UK: 1945–1983. The Journal of Industrial Economics 35(3), 297–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Phelps, N.A., R.J. Falon and C.L. Williams (2001) Small firms, borrowed size and the urban–rural shift. Regional Studies 35(7), 613–624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Roper, S. and Love, J.H. (2006) Innovation and regional absorptive capacity: The labour market dimension. Annals of Regional Science 40(2), 437–447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Rosell, J. and L. Viladomiu (2001) Empresariado y Políticas de Apoyo a las Empresas en una Zona Rural con Tradición Industrial. Paper presented at the 73rd EAAE Seminar, Zaragoza, Spain.Google Scholar
  61. Rosell, J., Y. Vaillant and L. Viladomiu (2006) Apoyo a las Empresas y Empresarios en las zonas rurales de Catalunya. Revista de Estudios Regionales 77, 153–178.Google Scholar
  62. Rubin, H.J. and I.S. Rubin (1995) Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. California: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  63. Schmenner, R.W. (1987) Making Business Location Decisions. New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  64. Sexton, D.L. (1986) Role of entrepreneurship in economic development. In R.D. Hisrich (ed.), 1996, Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Venture Capital Massachusetts: D.C. Heath and Company, Chap. 2, 27–39.Google Scholar
  65. Smallbone, D., D. North, R. Baldock and I. Ekanem (2002) Encouraging and supporting enterprise in rural areas. Report to the Small Business Service. Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, Middlesex University Business School, UK.Google Scholar
  66. Smith, A. (1776/1952) An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations. London: Encyclopedia Britannica.Google Scholar
  67. Smith, S.M. and D.L. Barkley (1991) Local input linkages of rural high-technologyTechnology manufacturers. Land Economics 67(4), 472–483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Storey, D.J. (1982) Impact on the local economy. In D.J. Storey (ed.), Entrepreneurship and the New Firm. London: Croom Helm, Chap. 9, 167–180.Google Scholar
  69. Storey, D.J. (1988) The role of small and medium-sized enterprises in European job creation: Key issues for policy and research. In M. Giaoutzi, P. Nijkamp and D.J. Storey (eds.) Small and Medium Size Enterprises and Regional Development. London: Routledge, Chap. 8, 140–160.Google Scholar
  70. Storey, D.J. (1994) Employment. In D.J. Storey (ed.) Understanding the Small Business Sector. London: Routledge, Chap. 6, 160–203.Google Scholar
  71. Timmons, J. (1998) America’s Entrepreneurial Revolution: The Demise of Brontosaurus Capitalism. Babson Park, MA: Babson College, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business.Google Scholar
  72. Trullen, J. (2001) L’economia de Barcelona: Cap a un nou model de desenvolupament. Revista Situació Catalunya 2, 26–38.Google Scholar
  73. Vaillant, Y. (2006) Explaining the Exceptional Entrepreneurial Performance of Rural Catalonia. Doctoral Dissertation. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  74. Vaillant, Y. and E. Lafuente (2007) Do different institutional frameworks condition the influence of local fear of failure and entrepreneurial examples over entrepreneurial activity? Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 19(4), 313–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Veciana, J.M., Y. Vaillant E. Genesca and D. Urbano (2004) GEMGEM-Catalunya: Informe Anual 2003. Barcelona: Departament d’Economia de l’Empresa, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  76. Viladomiu, L., Y. Vaillant and J. Rosell (2004) Empresas y Empresarios en las comarcas rurales de Catalonia. Fundación Universidad Empresa. Barcelona: Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.Google Scholar
  77. Weber, A. (1909) Theory of the Location of Industries. Translated by C.J. Friedrich (1929). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  78. Wennekers, S. and R. Thurik (1999) Linking entrepreneurship and economic growth. Small Business Economics 13(1), 27–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. White, S.B. and P.D. Reynolds (1996) Government programs and high growth new firms. Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. Massachusetts: Babson College.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Serarols
    • 1
  • Yancy Vaillant
    • 1
  • David Urbano
    • 1
  1. 1.Business Economics DepartmentUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

Personalised recommendations