Rural areas located in both NIS and EU economies, are currently undergoing a process of economic restructuring associated with an intensification of employment problems and the marginalisation of certain social and economic strata. Within this context, entrepreneurship is perceived, both by researchers and policy-makers, as a key instrument in engineering economic growth. This project sets out to examine, the actual and potential contribution of entrepreneurial ventures in stimulating economic development in rural locations. The underlying aim is to identify instances of best practice, in terms of both public and private initiatives, and explore their replicability elsewhere.

The main findings of the project will inform the debate on the development trajectories of rural areas. More importantly however, the results of the proposed project will identify instances of best practice in policy-making and explore the potential and conditions necessary in order to replicate it elsewhere. In this way it will have a very significant contribution in influencing decision makers at the local, regional and national level in NIS.