EU enlargement effects on cross-border informal entrepreneurial activities

Xheneti, Mirela, Smallbone, David and Welter, Friederike (2012) EU enlargement effects on cross-border informal entrepreneurial activities. European Urban and Regional Studies, 20 (3). pp. 314-328. ISSN 0969-7764

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Borderlands, as spaces of various forms of entrepreneurial activities, offer rich examples of informal entrepreneurial activities that depend on the border location to be developed and sustained. Although the socioeconomic contributions of informal activities have been widely acknowledged, little research has been conducted on the ways that enlargement of the European Union (EU), by affecting the openness/closedness of borders, affected the nature and extent of crossborder informal entrepreneurial activities (IEAs). Recognizing the heterogeneity of border regions, in terms of formal and social institutional structures, linguistics and ethnicity, the paper offers a nuanced and extended understanding of the difference the geography of borders, broadly defined, makes to the diversity and persistence/disappearance of crossborder IEAs since EU enlargement. Using qualitative data from interviews collected with households involved in crossborder IEAs in several EU border regions, the paper indicates that cross-border IEAs have a time dimension, reflected in the pre- and post-enlargement changes to the intensity of these activities, as well as a regional dimension, reflected in various dichotomies such as impoverished/affluent, socioculturally proximate/distant and hard/soft borders, reflected in the forms, enablers and constraints of such activities. The paper illustrates how the spatial, economic, institutional and sociocultural characteristics of a context overlap, dominate or recede at different points in time to facilitate/inhibit different forms of entrepreneurial behaviour and to encourage the involvement of, or empower, different groups of people. Thus, context, in all its dimensions, remains an important factor for spatial and temporal explanations of crossborder IEAs as particular forms of entrepreneurial activity

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General)
H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Mirela Xheneti
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2012 12:37
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2014 12:48
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