Building an entrepreneurial environment in rural regions: a possible way to develop human and social capital

  • Bótáné Horváth N
  • Katonáné Kovács J
  • Szőke S
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The main hypothesis behind the paper is that creating an entrepreneurial team learning environment is a way to increase human and social capital in rural regions. Our work, based on literature review and primary research, tries to show that this process could support a shift in people's attitudes from being reactive to creative and also interdependent. The results of a Delphi survey show that all four 'spheres' of the Quadruple Helix model in rural development (government, science/university, business/industry and civil society) should play a role in the development of a learning environment, but that more importance should be attached to 'pull' type of learning designed to draw out people and resources as needed to address opportunities and challenges. In a second survey, among farmers in the Hungarian settlement of Mezocsat, we found significant differences in the use of information channels by different age groups. Personal meetings are preferred by older farmers and the Internet by younger farmers. With regard to the Quadruple Helix model spheres, from the government sphere farmers' advisors play the most important role while from the business/industry sphere the most important relationship for farmers is with their peers. We conclude that the four spheres must create an 'outside-in' and 'inside-out' partnership. As creating entrepreneurial culture is a slow process, existing elements, such as the LEADER programme, building on those farmers who are ready to take part in rural development and the preferred usage of the Internet by the younger generation, have to be used.

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  • Noémi Bótáné Horváth

  • Judit Katonáné Kovács

  • Szilvia Szőke

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