Low-Density Entrepreneurship?

If Emile Durkheim was right, the limit to the division of labor is density – and this is what makes cities such vibrant engines of growth and prosperity. And if I’m right, the firm is chiefly a means for imaginative entrepreneurs to overcome the problem of lacking density. The firm is thereby a means for entrepreneurs to artificially increase the “extent of the market” (to use Adam Smith’s words).

But this does not necessarily mean that there are more opportunity in rural areas (due to more lacking density to overcome), and it also does not imply the opposite. But during a financial crisis such as in our present economy, many entrepreneurs are unable to create firms for a number of reasons – and even more unable to create jobs. The problem seems extra urgent in rural areas that have long suffered from depopulation and may now be experiencing a situation in which the market process is complete lacking.

Is there a case for supporting entrepreneurs in this kind of situation? Well, that’s the first topic to be discussed in a free webinar series offered by the University of Vermont. The fifth season begins tomorrow:

Mark your calendars! The eXtension Entrepreneurship webinar series is back for our fifth season. All webinars will air monthly on the second Thursday at 2:00pm (ET); 1:00pm (CT); 12:00pm (MT); 11:00am (PT).

On Thursday, September 8, 2011 we open with a special presentation for our colleagues and partners struggling during these tough economic times. Our topic will be The Case for Supporting Entrepreneurs in a Jobless Recovery.  Join Dr. Stepan Goetz, Director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development for an informative session on where the research points in supporting the communities we work in. More than ever before, expectations are high that entrepreneurs can serve as engines of economic growth in local economies.  Yet the scientific research base documenting the local economic impacts of smaller entrepreneurs remains weak, and organizations such as The Kauffman Foundation are promoting billion-dollar businesses rather than smaller operations to rekindle economic growth.  This presentation provides a user-friendly state of the art review of the most recent research on the roles of small, locally-owned businesses and the self-employed in local and regional economic growth.

On October 13 the webinar will feature George Haynes, Montana State University Extension. who will be presenting, Disaster and Small Business Survival.

The November 10 webinar will explore The 1099 Economy with Erik Pages, Entreworks Consulting. This presentation will include a conversation regarding the increasing number of Americans who don’t have a “regular job” but instead work on individual contracts with employers or customers.

No pre-registration is required and there is no fee to participate. About 10 minutes prior to the start time simply go the Adobe Connect Pro meeting room at https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/etc-cop. You will be presented with a login screen that has an “Enter as Guest” option. Enter your full name then click “Enter Room” to join the conference. You will be able to hear the audio directly from your computer’s speakers.

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