Understanding entrepreneurship in the local context: Population decline, ageing and density

Heike Delfmann

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Understanding entrepreneurship in the local context
    Population decline, ageing and density

    Population decline is now a reality for most countries in the EU. Many regions are experiencing decline, including the Netherlands. Population decline is a complex issue with many social and economic implications. At the same time, population change strengthens the effect of demographic ageing. People are getting older, but also, a greater number of people are getting older. This causes a relative decline in the working population. What does this new trend mean for our society and economy? What are the possible consequences and how will we deal with these?

    This research assessed the role of entrepreneurship in the social and economic resilience of regions that are characterized by population decline and population ageing. The results show that the consequences of demographic change on the level of entrepreneurship are highly context dependent and even positive in some cases of population decline. Even though entrepreneurship in regions facing population decline generates less employment growth compared to other regions, population decline in itself is shown not to be a reason for concern with regard to employment growth. The quantitative data analysis is complemented with in-depth case study research in the Netherlands and England. The case studies provide a different, non-economic, insight into the role of entrepreneurship at the community level. Small local businesses create bridging social capital by stimulating social interaction between community members and as a result have a positive effect on community quality of life.
    Translated title of the contributionOndernemerschap in de lokale context: Krimp, vergrijzing en bevolkingsdichtheid
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • McCann, Philip, Supervisor
    • van Dijk, Jouke, Supervisor
    • Koster, Sierdjan, Co-supervisor
    Award date23-Apr-2015
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-94-6259-615-3
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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