Cristina Candelario-Moreno, Project Manager at Fundación Maimona, Junior Reseacher, Lecturer, Carretera Paraje la Nava, S/n Centro Diego HIdalgo de Empresas e Innovación, 06230 Santos De Maimona ( Los ), Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
María Isabel Sánchez-Hernández, Ph.D, Economist, Lecturer, Reseacher, University of Extremadura, Av. de Elvas, s/n, 06006 Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


PURPOSE: Regarding the growth of public policies fostering rural entrepreneurship, the primary objectives of this work involve examining the concept of rural entrepreneurship, identifying key aspects that differentiate it from non-rural entrepreneurship, and assessing the role of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in supporting the initiation and growth of rural ventures. To achieve these goals, the study adopts a novel approach by integrating an analysis of rural entrepreneurship features with an exploration of the entrepreneurial ecosystem’s impact. METHODOLOGY: After a review of the previous academic literature, the characteristics of rural entrepreneurship have been delimited, distinguishing it from non-rural. The research results have been obtained using a questionnaire, after a descriptive analysis of the sample, and an analysis of the difference in means by contrasting hypotheses using IBM SPSS Statistics 26. FINDINGS: This article explores the factors that contribute to rural entrepreneurship, challenging the notion that geographic location is the sole defining characteristic. Through the conducted investigation, it has been determined that a company’s classification as rural is not solely based on its geographical location in rural areas or involvement in primary sector activities. Other aspects, such as a strong connection with the local community or the ability to create value, are also essential in defining a rural enterprise. Additionally, it examines how business ecosystems can foster the growth and success of rural entrepreneurship. IMPLICATIONS: This study provides an analysis of how rural entrepreneurship can drive endogenous development in rural areas. It also offers insights for government entities and policymakers to implement effective support measures and strategies in business ecosystems within rural environments. This study highlights that the resources found in rural entrepreneurial ecosystems may not be sufficient to support rural entrepreneurship. It’s important to acknowledge that rural entrepreneurship requires specific resources that may not currently be available in business ecosystems. To increase the number of viable rural businesses, new resources tailored to rural entrepreneurship must be created, leveraging the area’s endogenous resources and growth models. ORIGINALITY AND VALUE: This study examines the distinctive attributes of rural entrepreneurship, with a deliberate departure from exclusive emphasis on geographical location or primary economic sector. Drawing upon empirical research conducted among a cohort of rural enterprises, the analysis reveals that neither physical location nor primary sector affiliation substantially contribute to the establishment of these rural businesses. Instead, a profound connection to, and a heightened sense of belonging within the rural milieu emerge as pivotal determinants. Furthermore, rural entrepreneurship emerges as a promising avenue for the development of the region, offering substantial growth prospects. The investigation encompasses a scrutiny of the resources within the rural business ecosystem and their capacity to stimulate rural entrepreneurial activity. This emerging focal point represents a novel field of concern for governmental bodies and political institutions operating in rural areas.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, rural entrepreneurship, business ecosystems, rural business success, entrepreneurial ecosystem, rural development strategies, endogenous development, rural ventures, geographic location impact, local community engagement, policy implementation for rural areas, value creation, embeddedness