Entrepreneurship and agricultural development : investigating the factors affecting the successful management of agricultural enterprises

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Πλιακούρα, Αλεξάνδρα

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In recent years, entrepreneurship has been recognized as an important factor in economic growth, as it has proven to be a source of innovation and job creation. Entrepreneurship is the set of entrepreneurial activities related to the creation of new businesses, the renewal of existing ones and the introduction of new products and technologies. It is also defined as the search for entrepreneurial opportunities and the effort to turn the initiative into a result and the idea into action, in order to create financial profit. Newly, the term entrepreneurship has included the concept of entrepreneurial mentality. The preference for self-employment as a career choice, the willingness to take risks, the perception of entrepreneurial opportunities and their interpretation, based on creativity and imagination, are some characteristics of entrepreneurship. This extension of the term entrepreneurship has contributed to the development of new forms of entrepreneurship, such as, for example, social entrepreneurship and knowledge entrepreneurship, which describes the ability to recognize and create opportunities for the implementation of innovative practical knowledge or products. However, it should be noted that disagreements and skepticism are recorded regarding concepts such as entrepreneurial intentions, entrepreneurial success and entrepreneurial education. One of the main reasons for this is the differences expressed in the choice of economic policies to be implemented. What is needed above all is to try to focus not on the disagreements over how to implement policies to strengthen entrepreneurship, which will certainly exist, but on its necessity. The need to strengthen entrepreneurship, in any case, stems from its contribution to the formation of people capable of facing challenges in the workplace with confidence and relying on their own strengths. With the present dissertation, the study of entrepreneurship in the rural population is attempted as a means to enhance local and regional agricultural development. Overall research questions revolve around: (i) how personality traits such as Locus of Control (LOC) and intrinsic motivation interact with entrepreneurial intentions; (ii) when and how entrepreneurship can be best taught to farmers and iii) how both internal/organizational and external/non-organizational factors shape agricultural entrepreneurs' perception of entrepreneurial success. In approaching these questions, this dissertation focuses on why entrepreneurs set up their own business (entrepreneurship intention), how entrepreneurship can be strengthened through training (training needs and learning practices) and how they perceive the results and impact of “doing business” (perceived entrepreneurial success). The contribution of this dissertation lies in the depiction of how LOC and motivation influence entrepreneurial intentions and entrepreneurial success and create conditions in relation to agricultural development. Knowledge of this dissertation is believed to be vital to understanding why some farm entrepreneurs are more successful than others. This can improve our knowledge of how to promote and activate entrepreneurship in people who are behind. The rural context and the agricultural code of conduct affect the extent to which entrepreneurial activities are located and affect the type of value created in the agricultural sector. This dissertation consists of a collection of five related articles. The goal and contribution of each are briefly described below. Research paper 1: This article conceptually examines how LOC and motivations predict entrepreneurial intentions among farmers. This research study adds to the existing literature of the entrepreneurial intentions (EI) by using a different set of the sample. Mostly EI studies used student samples to measure intentions. The present study extends the antecedents of intention by using a sample of existing agri-entrepreneurs. Farmers are one of the best potential segments, and in this regard, the findings of this research will be helpful in predicting how the intention process of existing entrepreneurs works especially in the primary sector. The results show that EI in the agricultural sector was determined more by LOC, motivations, age, and level of education than by gender and type of holding. Research paper 2: This paper empirically investigates the factors that are considered as indicators to explain, predict, and determine perceptional entrepreneurial success. Given that the research objective is a farmer -entrepreneurs, the research of this work focuses on existing agricultural enterprises. The findings indicate that seven predictors (internal LOC, pull motivation, push motivation, internal funding, innovativeness, entrepreneurial capacity, and educational background) have a significant impact on perceived entrepreneurial success. Furthermore, this study explains entrepreneurial success in a geographical area with little research on the operation, sustainability, and productivity of agricultural enterprises and under difficult economic conditions (economic crisis) in a rural setting in Western Greece. Research paper 3: The purpose of this study is to highlight the role and necessity of entrepreneurship education in enhancing entrepreneurship, and to formulate relevant research proposals. Given the shortage of research data identified, particularly at the national level, on the role of education in agricultural entrepreneurship, this study contributes significantly to this research field, as the recognition of educational needs that affect the effectiveness of “agri-business”, is a crucial event for the future of agricultural entrepreneurship. Overall, the main purpose of this study is to investigate the needs of farmers for the EE and how they mediate the entrepreneurial skills, and farmers' knowledge of their business. At the same time, the project seeks to highlight good practices and particularly educational methods in the field of agriculture. Research paper 4: This paper presents a systematic literature review. Agricultural cooperatives are an important model of entrepreneurship. A study of cooperative entrepreneurship, based on a systematic review of literature, is important today, as citizens in many countries (both developing and developed) are seeking diverse pathways to carve out viable livelihoods within agriculture. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to identify the main problems encountered in the organization/management of agricultural cooperatives and factors that may influence their entrepreneurship internationally. Specifically, the objective is to categorize the problems arising from the research. Categorizing the problems will help cooperatives focus and overcome these problems, making them a dynamic entrepreneurial model. Research paper 5: It is necessary to identify the opportunities for the development of the Greek economy through the modernization of technical, technological and management processes based on the use of the latest technologies that digitize the economy as a new development model. This study followed an exploratory approach to understanding the role of digital entrepreneurship among farmers. Discusses the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Greece in terms of mobile apps and also evaluates a portable farm management application for its usability as well as the effectiveness of the system on farms. The main objective was to evaluate the ease to use of a mobile farm management application so as to identify problems of use and satisfaction from the system interface. The second objective was to clarify the factors that most affect the efficiency of the application on farms and to present a “proposal” for the systematic recording of the technical and financial data of a farm, with the help of mobile devices. Knowing the barriers and factors that most affect the acceptance of such applications, it would be possible to design a way to overcome these barriers.

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Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial intentions, Entrepreneurial education, Agricultural development

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