Economics & Sociology

ISSN: 2071-789X eISSN: 2306-3459 DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X
Index PUBMS: f5512f57-a601-11e7-8f0e-080027f4daa0
Article information
Title: Entrepreneurs’ Networks at Rural Market: Developing a Creative Village in the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
Issue: Vol. 10, No 3, 2017
Published date: 10-2017 (print) / 10-2017 (online)
Journal: Economics & Sociology
ISSN: 2071-789X, eISSN: 2306-3459
Authors: Shiro Horiuchi
Hannan University
Keywords: Networks of entrepreneurs, Rural market, Depopulation, Creative Village, Rural revitalization in Japan
DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2017/10-3/18
Index PUBMS: cf95fe69-f8f2-11e7-94c4-fa163e5d4f72
Language: English
Pages: 251-265 (15)
JEL classification: L26, M30, R10

Entrepreneurs of small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are often expected to boost rural revitalization. However, due to the effects of globalization and regional disparities, in rural Japan entrepreneurs find few consumers and other entrepreneurs due to depopulation of many areas. This study asks how entrepreneurs build and maintain business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) networks in a rural Yamagata prefecture. The author performed a semi-structured interview with more than 20 entrepreneurs of SMEs in this area during 2014-2015, with special attention being paid to their networking with consumers and other entrepreneurs. The author found that the entrepreneurs invited outside consumers from urban areas, introduced their consumers to other entrepreneurs, used local media, and participated in rural revitalization programs to help local residents discover the value of their products. Different entrepreneurs cooperated together to improve their businesses and increase the number of regular consumers. They also tried to increase the number of cooperative entrepreneurs as they hoped for the growth of other entrepreneurial businesses and business aggregation. Consequently, such businesses contributed to rural revitalization in the sense that the residents as a whole could enjoy the local more developed market.


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