University of Oulu

Jokela, Harri; Saarela, Martti; Niinikoski, Eija-Riitta; Muhos, Matti (2014) Entrepreneurship Drivers and Barriers in Northern Sparsely Populated Areas. In: Proceedings of Technology, Innovation and Industrial Management Conference (TIIM) 2014, May 28-30 in Seoul, South Korea, pp. 127-139.

Entrepreneurship drivers and barriers in northern sparsely populated areas

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Author: Jokela, Harri1; Saarela, Martti1; Niinikoski, Eija-Riitta1;
Organizations: 1Oulu Southern Institute, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: ToKnowPress, 2014
Publish Date: 2017-11-17


a. Purpose: Entrepreneurs in northern sparsely populated areas face context-specific challenges, as they develop their businesses; this is due to limited resources, remoteness, and long distances. The purpose of this study is to describe and classify the main drivers and barriers these entrepreneurs have experienced before the establishment of the company and at the start-up stage.

b. Design/methodology/approach: This is a sequential incident case study, focusing on sparsely populated areas in Northern Finland. The empirical data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with 25 entrepreneurs. The interviews were conducted face-to-face during the autumn of 2013. Multiple perspectives were analysed and evaluated, using an inclusive process, and the main findings were summarised.

c. Findings: As a result, both internal and external drivers and barriers faced by the entrepreneurs prior to establishment of the company and at the start-up stage were described and classified (specifically, internal drivers and barriers are person-based, and external drivers and barriers are environment-based). This case study also seeks to find drivers and barriers from the entrepreneur’s perspective, in the context of northern sparsely populated areas.

d. Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to interviewed case companies located in Northern Finland, to get an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon.

e. Practical implications: Public business services can benefit from the results of this study when developing and tailoring their services. Also, the findings can be utilised by educational organisations located in northern sparsely populated areas, when encouraging students towards entrepreneurship.

g. Originality/value: The current literature provides only limited information about the drivers and barriers experienced by entrepreneurs in northern sparsely populated areas. The scope of this study is focussed on the stages prior to establishment and start-up.

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Pages: 127 - 139
Article number: S6
Host publication: Proceedings of Technology, Innovation and Industrial Management Conference (TIIM) 2014
Host publication editor: Phusavat, Kongkiti
Conference: Technology, Innovation and Industrial Management Conference
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: The authors are grateful for the project funding supported by the Council of Oulu Region, the Kerttu Saalasti Foundation, the Nivala-Haapajärvi subregion, the Ylivieska subregion, the Haapavesi-Siikalatva subregion, the Central Ostrobothnian University of Applied Sciences, the Educational Municipal Federation JEDU and the European Regional Development Fund.
Copyright information: © 2014 The Authors and TIIM. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.