Special Issue "Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. María de la Cruz del Río-Rama
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Business Management and Marketing Department, Faculty of Business Sciences and Tourism, University of Vigo, 32004 Ourense, Spain
Interests: business and tourism; resource and service management; water resources management; water governance; sustainable rural development; sustainability; entrepreneurship; innovation; quality and environmental management systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Evaristo Galeana-Figueroa
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Accounting and Management, Saint Nicholas and Hidalgo Michoacán State University (UMSNH), Morelia 58030, Mexico
Interests: business and tourism; financial economics; accounting and management; sustainability; entrepreneurship; innovation; quality and environmental management systems
Prof. Dr. José Álvarez-García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Financial Economy and Accounting Department, Faculty of Business, Finance and Tourism, University of Extremadura, 10071 Cáceres, Spain
Interests: business and tourism; resource and service management; water resources management; water governance; sustainable rural development; financial economics; accounting and management; sustainability; entrepreneurship; innovation; quality and environmental management systems
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In many cases, the economic development of rural areas entails substantial unwanted social and environmental impacts (environmental pollution, depletion of resources, loss of biodiversity, etc.). For this reason, it is currently necessary to work to achieve sustainable protection of the different ecosystems (agriculture, food, forestry, and tourism) and the natural and cultural heritage associated with the rural environment, through a balance between economic development, sustainability, and environmental protection. In this regard, innovation and entrepreneurship have become fundamental instruments in rural areas to face current economic, environmental, and social challenges in a sustainable way.

On the one hand, innovation can increase competitiveness by transferring research results and new technologies, and it promotes an agricultural, food, forestry, and tourism sector that uses resources efficiently, is economically viable, productive, and competitive in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. In short, innovation is essential to generate sustainable rural development models.

On the other hand, entrepreneurship is a key factor in generating economic growth and improving competitiveness, as well as an engine for the development of society, especially in rural areas. In this context, entrepreneurship-sustainability-economic development, entrepreneurship changes its approach and becomes a tool that can help to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Manuscripts addressing innovation and entrepreneurship as tools for sustainable development in rural areas from all areas of the economy, management, and sustainability are welcome. For this Special Issue, papers that address the following topics, among others, are requested:

  • Sustainable rural development.
  • Rural management.
  • Creation of sustainable value.
  • Sustainable management of natural and cultural resources.
  • Best environmental management practices for rural areas.
  • Innovation in rural areas.
  • Green development and green technology.
  • Tourism innovation in rural areas.
  • Entrepreneurship in rural areas: agricultural, livestock, agrifood entrepreneurship, green entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, etc.
  • Other relevant topics related to the subject.

Dr. María de la Cruz del Río-Rama
Dr. Evaristo Galeana-Figueroa
Dr. José Álvarez-García
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainable rural development
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Economic growth
  • Green development and green technology
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Natural and cultural heritage
  • Agricultural sector
  • Food sector
  • Forestry sector
  • Tourism sector

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Article
Perceived Social Norms and Agripreneurial Intention among Youths in Eastern DRC
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3442; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063442 - 19 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country with a high agricultural productivity potential; however, the agribusiness sector remains unattractive to youths. This study examined the extent to which perceived social norms and psychological capital affect youths’ intentions to pursue agribusiness [...] Read more.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a country with a high agricultural productivity potential; however, the agribusiness sector remains unattractive to youths. This study examined the extent to which perceived social norms and psychological capital affect youths’ intentions to pursue agribusiness opportunities in the Eastern DRC. Data was collected on a sample of 600 youths. We applied Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS−SEM) in order to examine the relationship between the variables. The findings indicated that most of the youths did not select agribusiness as their top career choice. The intention to engage in agribusiness activities was significantly higher among the youths who perceived that agribusiness was socially valued and supported. Psychological capital significantly and positively affects youths’ agripreneurial intention. The findings contribute to the underlying Theory of Planned Behavior by supporting a positive mediation role of psychological capital—and the moderating roles of educational level, gender, access to land, and location—on the relationship between perceived social norms and agripreneurial intention. The paper concludes that the provision of funds is not enough to promote youth agripreneurship in an environment in which agricultural-related social norms, youths’ psychological capital, gender, access to land, educational level, and location (rural versus urban) are not thoroughly considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Assessing the Performance and Participation among Young Male and Female Entrepreneurs in Agribusiness: A Case Study of the Rice and Maize Subsectors in Cameroon
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2690; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052690 - 02 Mar 2021
Viewed by 692
Abstract
The role played by youth in agriculture cannot be overemphasized, while agribusinesses are important generators of employment and income worldwide. Improving the sustainability of food value chains can benefit millions of rural poor people living in developing countries, especially young women. Despite policies [...] Read more.
The role played by youth in agriculture cannot be overemphasized, while agribusinesses are important generators of employment and income worldwide. Improving the sustainability of food value chains can benefit millions of rural poor people living in developing countries, especially young women. Despite policies and programs aimed at encouraging agricultural entrepreneurs, they are still facing challenges such as high-cost agrochemicals, limited access to credit, price volatility, etc. which seriously affect their capacity to remain in the sector. This study was undertaken to assess the performance and participation of young male and female entrepreneurs. This study made use of cross-section data from a survey conducted on 1019 young agricultural entrepreneurs in Cameroon. The data were analyzed using gross margin, student t-test, and logistic regression. Our study contributes to the literature by showing that young women agribusiness entrepreneurs are as competitive as their male counterparts and that the opportunities for young women in agriculture are good. Incentives such as single-digit interest rates and no collateral security should be directed to young women to receive more credit for purchasing agrochemicals and improved varieties of seed. Furthermore, a price control policy should be set up throughout the year to enable young women earn as their young men counterparts to enable them remain in production and marketing activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Sustainable Local Exploitation and Innovation on Meat Products Based on the Autochthonous Bovine Breed Jarmelista
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2515; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052515 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
The Jarmelista autochthonous bovine breed has a sustainable production and is part of the culture of the Portuguese territory, representing a touristic attraction and originating a differentiated beef product that can only be found in a particular region of the country. However rural [...] Read more.
The Jarmelista autochthonous bovine breed has a sustainable production and is part of the culture of the Portuguese territory, representing a touristic attraction and originating a differentiated beef product that can only be found in a particular region of the country. However rural and livestock population evolution in Portugal’s inland has demonstrated a great regression with consequences for environment and nature conservation. In this context and considering that silvopastoral activity has shaped the natural areas of mountain territories since its beginning, rethinking the importance of such activity has become vital for the territory sustainability. In this perspective, this work presents an analysis of the adaptation and evolution of Jarmelista bovine breed production to current times, perceiving its limitations, challenges, and success potential, supported by a data collection of secondary and primary sources. Despite the natural, healthy, and sustainable value of this particular bovine meat, we observed that is still not recognised by the market or even by the producers. The inability of proving the Jarmelista beef added value within the value chain is the main cause of businesses and consumers sceptic and disbelief in the potential of its economic and tourism contribution. Several possibilities and actions were identified to contradict this path. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Increasing Sustainability through Wine Tourism in Mass Tourism Destinations. The Case of the Balearic Islands
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2481; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052481 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 768
Abstract
This study explores the potential contribution to economic and cultural sustainability of fostering wine tourism activity in a Mediterranean mature mass tourism destination like the Balearic Islands. A causal model was designed linking winery visitors’ satisfaction with both the local wines and the [...] Read more.
This study explores the potential contribution to economic and cultural sustainability of fostering wine tourism activity in a Mediterranean mature mass tourism destination like the Balearic Islands. A causal model was designed linking winery visitors’ satisfaction with both the local wines and the visit to the winery and future purchasing intentions as well as the interest in the destination cultural offer, global satisfaction with the trip, and image of the destination. Field research was carried out within the wineries where a questionnaire was administered personally to a sample of 200 winery visitors. The managers of the wineries were contacted previously to ensure their cooperation in the research. The statistical method used for the analysis of the exploratory causal model was the Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression. Results indicate that there is a great growth potential for wine tourism activity in the islands with important positive externalities on gastronomic tourism and the overall image of the Islands. Results show that wine tourism might boost the sales and exports of wine in the medium and long term. Finally, it can be concluded that there are important synergies between rural tourism, mass tourism, and wine tourism in the islands which are still not sufficiently optimized, and that greater support to wine tourism development could contribute not only to a more sustainable rural development but also to a more sustainable tourist activity overall within a more diversified economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Embeddedness as a Differentiating Element of Indigenous Entrepreneurship: Insights from Mexico
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042117 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 650
Abstract
The present work aims to know the motives of why Indigenous entrepreneurs start companies, as well as how the characteristics of these groups influence the motives for company creation and determine entrepreneurial behavior. Through qualitative research, using interviews from five Indigenous entrepreneurs in [...] Read more.
The present work aims to know the motives of why Indigenous entrepreneurs start companies, as well as how the characteristics of these groups influence the motives for company creation and determine entrepreneurial behavior. Through qualitative research, using interviews from five Indigenous entrepreneurs in Mexico, and the comparative case studies, this research identifies the motivators and characteristics of Indigenous entrepreneurs, as well as community embeddedness as an element of core business, without which company creation could not happen. The results show that embeddedness, identity, comunalidad (communal way of life), and worldview contribute positively to entrepreneurial project achievements, which also impact the community itself. Recommendations for different economic and social agents, concerning supporting the sustainability of Indigenous communities, and the protection of their culture and historical legacies, are derived from this study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship: Assessing the Impact of Agricultural Training Programmes on Performance
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1697; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041697 - 04 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
Using the case of the Fadama Graduate Unemployed Youth and Women Support (GUYS) programme, this study investigated the impact of agricultural training programmes on youth agripreneurship performance in Nigeria. A total of 977 respondents comprising of 455 participants of the programme and 522 [...] Read more.
Using the case of the Fadama Graduate Unemployed Youth and Women Support (GUYS) programme, this study investigated the impact of agricultural training programmes on youth agripreneurship performance in Nigeria. A total of 977 respondents comprising of 455 participants of the programme and 522 non-participants were sampled across three states in Nigeria. Data were collected using a well-structured questionnaire programmed on Open Data Kit (ODK). Data were analysed using the Endogenous Treatment Effect Regression (ETER) model. The probit model results revealed that participation in the programme was significantly influenced by age, years of formal education, marital status, current residence, employment type, and perception of training. The empirical analysis showed that after controlling for endogeneity, participation in the programme led to better performance which was measure in terms of average income from agripreneurship activities. These findings highlight the significance of training in improving the performance of young agripreneurs and suggest the need to encourage and out-scale programmes such as the Fadama GUYS, both in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa as they can contribute to better performance of youth-owned agribusiness firms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Hybrid Conceptual Model for Assessing Quality, Production and Satisfaction (SQual4Agri), in Agricultural Production Units, in Cape Verde
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010037 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 619
Abstract
In Cape Verde, small family farming production suffers continuously from limited essential resources such as water and soil for a steady development. This situation is further aggravated by the lack of financial resources. We have developed a hybrid and multidimensional conceptual model for [...] Read more.
In Cape Verde, small family farming production suffers continuously from limited essential resources such as water and soil for a steady development. This situation is further aggravated by the lack of financial resources. We have developed a hybrid and multidimensional conceptual model for improvement of those small farming units by bringing together concepts of quality management, farmers’ satisfaction evaluation and production capabilities. The model we have built was the result of an inquiry based on Focus Group study with 15 farmers and it was carried out in 2019. We name the model as SQual4Agri and this is a step toward improvement in small family based agricultural organization, namely in productivity, responsibility sharing, communication and quality management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
The “Dobry Czas Na Biznes” (“Good Time for Business”) Program as a Form of Support for Self-Employment in Poland. A Case Study of the Sub-Regions of the Małopolskie Province
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9688; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229688 - 20 Nov 2020
Viewed by 513
Abstract
The main goal of public intervention is to amend market imperfections. However, public agencies may also have other goals in supporting entrepreneurship and promotion of self-employment. The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of the funding granted by the Małopolska [...] Read more.
The main goal of public intervention is to amend market imperfections. However, public agencies may also have other goals in supporting entrepreneurship and promotion of self-employment. The aim of the paper is to analyze the impact of the funding granted by the Małopolska Agency for Regional Development (Małopolska Agencja Rozwoju Regionalnego SA, MARR S.A.) dedicated to beneficiaries from the Tarnow subregion and the Krakow Metropolitan Area. The research goals were defined as follows: (1) To verify if the basic assumptions of the program are correct and to demonstrate that it is an important element motivating the professionally inactive to take up employment as sole entrepreneur. (2) To verify if the program participant structure (both applicants and beneficiaries), with subdivision into place of residence, gender, age and the labor market status, is correct. (3) To verify if the abovementioned variables (gender, age, place of residence) significantly differentiate the applicants’ chance of obtaining a grant. The results are of key importance and should be used in formulating assumptions, regulations and guidelines for subsequent program editions. Due to the demonstrated diversity of the target group in the respective regions, it should be decided whether to differentiate the criteria for participation in the project depending on the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Employing Ecotourism Opportunities for Sustainability in the Aral Sea Region: Prospects and Challenges
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219249 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1659
Abstract
The paper examines ecotourism in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan, an area with a fragile environment that has faced ecological crises and requires careful sustainable development. It looks at the supply side of ecotourism by examining Uzbekistani tour operators’ awareness of benefits [...] Read more.
The paper examines ecotourism in the Aral Sea region of Uzbekistan, an area with a fragile environment that has faced ecological crises and requires careful sustainable development. It looks at the supply side of ecotourism by examining Uzbekistani tour operators’ awareness of benefits derivable from promoting ecotourism in the region, and the local tourism industry’s motives to engage in this development. As a research methodology, the results of an exploratory survey of travel agents and tour operators highlight the policy-making and management interventions required for the more effective promotion and development of ecotourism in the Aral Sea region. The paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities associated with promoting ecotourism activities in the Aral Sea region in pursuit of sustainable regional development, improved livelihood for the local population, employment opportunity and income source creation, and enriched service exports. Key findings from the study show that stakeholders are aware of ecotourism’s value and are motivated to implement ecotourism in the region, but they have limited experience, competence, and international networks to promote and market ecotourism products and services. Local stakeholders have raised the issue that infrastructure development and access to microfinance are their greatest needs from local authorities in Uzbekistan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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Article
Mediation Effect of Adaptive Planning between Social Capital and Business Innovation: Application to a Community of Pisco Producers in Peru
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7779; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187779 - 21 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
This study addresses the effects linking adaptive planning and social capital that drive business innovation. A case study has been selected that involves a community of pisco producers, grouped around a production innovation and technology transfer center (CITE agroindustrial) in the southern part [...] Read more.
This study addresses the effects linking adaptive planning and social capital that drive business innovation. A case study has been selected that involves a community of pisco producers, grouped around a production innovation and technology transfer center (CITE agroindustrial) in the southern part of Lima, Peru. The study examines how their perceptions have changed over a six-year period (2012–2018). Results show the mediation effect that adaptive planning—promoted through CITE activities—has between social capital and innovation, which is also strengthened over time. In conjunction with this, a route is investigated for business innovation that goes further than the need–opportunity dichotomy, through associative and collaborative behaviors, and adaptive planning that stands out thanks to its actors (the community of producers). This represents a path for transforming needs into opportunities for innovation and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rural Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation)
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