1st Edition

Building Rural Community Resilience Through Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Edited By Charlie French Copyright 2022
    262 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    262 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Drawing from empirical analyses, case studies, and a synthesis of best practices, this book explores how innovation manifests itself in rural places and how it contributes to entrepreneurial development and resilience. Innovation in rural places may come about as a result of new forms of collaboration; policies that leverage rural assets and address critical service or product gaps; novel strategies for accessing financial capital; infusion of arts into aspects of community life; and cultivation of networks that bridge entrepreneurs, organizations, and institutions. The chapters illustrate how a number of innovation-related characteristics relate to economic vibrancy in rural places such as a strong connection to the arts, adaptive and sustainable use of natural resources, value-chain integrated food systems, robust bridging social capital networks, creative leveraging of technology, and presence of innovation-focused entrepreneurs. Through exploration of these and other topics, this book will provide insights and best practices for rural community and economic development scholars and practitioners seeking to strengthen the rural innovation ecosystem.


    Contributing Authors


    1 Rural Innovation Redefined 3

    Charlie French

    2 The Geography of Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the United States *

    Stephan J. Goetz, Devon Meadowcroft, and Yicheol Han

    3 Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem to Catalyze Innovation in Rural Places *

    Jared Reynolds

    4 Exploring Innovation Creation in Rural Places through Rural Establishments *

    John Mann and Steve Miller

    5 Social Capital Building for Rural Innovation *

    Thomas S. Lyons

    6 Rural Innovation at the Community Level *

    Cornelia Butler Flora

    7 Embracing Uncertainty and Antifragility in Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship *

    Michael W. P. Fortunato and Theodore R. Alter

    8 Digital Inclusion and its Role in Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship *

    Roberto Gallardo

    9 Rural Flourishing through Artistic Imagination: Unleashing the Advantages of Nonmetropolitan America *

    Timothy R. Wojan

    10 Innovating with People Power: Bolstering Regional Food Economies through Value Chain Coordination Networks *

    Sarah Rocker, Jodee Smith

    11 Rural Destination Management Innovation and Collaboration in Appalachia *

    Daniel Eades, Douglas Arbogast

    12 Nature-Based Economic Development: Innovating at the Intersection of Nature & Main Street *

    Shannon Rogers, Molly Donovan, Cathryn Porter, Geoffrey Sewake

    13 Giving Rise to Innovation Ecosystems in Rural Honduras: A Case Study of Sustainable Harvest International *

    Egbert Ospina, Alexandra Croteau, Elliott Powell, Ricardo Romero-Perezgrovas




    Charlie French, Ph.D. is Program Leader/Extension Associate Professor, Community & Economic Development at University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

    Development of new ideas, processes, and products—and the ability to bring them to market through entrepreneurship—is fundamental to the growth and development process and to a vibrant economy. But innovation is an elusive topic, particularly in rural communities. In this volume, leading scholars of rural economic growth and development have come together to discuss various dimensions of innovation, and more importantly, how rural communities can foster a more innovative environment. This is an excellent read for both scholars of rural economics as well as practitioners. 

    Steven C. Deller, Professor and Community Development Specialist, Center for Community and Economic Development, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics

    An excellent collection of works exploring the important role innovation and entrepreneurship play in community-based rural economic development across the United States.  A must read for anyone working in the field of rural economic development.

    James C. McConnon, Jr., Extension Specialist and Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Maine

    The premise of the book is that innovation is far more than patent counts. For rural areas across OECD countries that face demographic decline and new forms of competition, innovation by firms, governments and organizations will be key to their future viability. The chapters provide a highly eclectic set of ideas and approaches to rural innovation that help identify ways to increase productivity and revitalize struggling communities.

    David Freshwater, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Economics, University of Kentucky

    Most of the discussion about growth and innovation tends to focus on urban advantages, yet the reality is that some rural areas are thriving – or doing better than expected. This collection of articles explores the drivers of rural innovation and ways in which rural communities can support this innovation and bolster their economic outcomes. It is a valuable resource for both researchers and practitioners focused on rural economies.

    Heather Stephens, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Resource Economics and Management, West Virginia University

    This book provides an holistic, ecosystems-based approach to community-economic development. This work helps us understand how communities—especially rural communities—can create the conditions for innovation and vitality, which is timely and important.

    Thaddeus Guldbrandsen, Ph.D., High-Impact Departments, LLC, Formerly Vice Provost for Research and Director of the Center for Rural Affairs, Plymouth State University