The practice of entrepreneurship in the non-wood forest products sector: Support for innovation on private forest land

  • Last update: 06 October 2016
  • Author: Alice Ludvig, Veera Tahvanainen, Antonia Dickson, Camille Evard, Mikko Kurttila, Marija Cosovic, Emma Chapman, Maria Wilding, Gerhard Weiss

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The paper sets out to examine the characteristics of support for innovation processes in Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP). The typical enterprises and start-ups which emerge in this sector tend to be small-scale and family owned. We claim that there is a large unused potential for NWFP to support rural development and increase incomes of land owners and rural enterprises. In this article, we study what makes selected and so far successful product innovations inNWFPs special and subsequentlywhatwere the factors that supported their development andmarketing? These questionswestudy at hand of fourempirical innovative case studies in four European rural
areas. We come to the conclusion that the entrepreneurs show some common features in the ways they started their business. However, they have applied individual strategies for the realisation of their own ideas. In line with recommendations from recent literature on creating innovations, all of them have used some “external” support,but at very different levels: They range from monetary support and consultation of effective support organisations to personal non-monetary exchange-relationships in social networks within a communal area. Our results contribute to an understanding of entrepreneurial behaviour as a very individual and context-specific undertaking on the one hand and as a “universal” activity with common features and attributes on the other.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonst ration under grant agreement No. 311919

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