Innovative activity in SMEs and rural economic development: some evidence from England

North, David J. and Smallbone, David (2000) Innovative activity in SMEs and rural economic development: some evidence from England. European Planning Studies, 8 (1). pp. 87-106. ISSN 0965-4313

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Recent writings on the factors influencing the competitiveness of regional and local economies have emphasized the importance of innovation in SMEs. This paper discusses the findings of a study of the innovation process in a sample of SMEs located in rural environments. Adopting a broad, evolutionary view of the innovation process, the study highlights important sectoral variations using a multidimensional index of innovation. The way in which innovation is achieved is found to be shaped by various aspects of the rural environment, but relatively few firms are constrained by their rural location. Nor does the lack of local networking opportunities appear to hold back innovation in the more active SMEs. In conclusion, the most innovative firms are shown to make an important contribution to rural economies in terms of external income generation and employment generation.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > Business School
Citations on ISI Web of Science:17
ID Code:3733
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Deposited On:05 Feb 2010 11:51
Last Modified:24 Mar 2015 10:37

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