Entrepreneurship is a driving force for rural development. It
involves strategic interventions to accelerate and revitalize declining
rural economies by expanding business outreach to farm/nonfarm areas.
People with entrepreneurial mindsets recognize unexploited market
opportunities by thinking intuitively and reading future trends in given
circumstances. In a rural context, entrepreneurship means building
something meaningful by utilizing local resources not practically
perceived or valued previously. In this way, the value of natural,
capital, and human resources in rural communities can be recreated in a
viable way to take the fullest advantage of them.
The interplay between rural development and entrepreneurship
overcomes the constraints of primary industry, mainly agriculture, which
is the principal source of income in rural areas. Rural populations are
highly dependent on agricultural production, although its performance
is volatile due to natural calamities such as droughts, flooding, insect
pests, and others. Similarly, achieving drastic yield increases in
agriculture is often not controllable.
In this regard, rural entrepreneurship can offer innovative,
cost-effective sources of living by crossing the boundaries among
primary, secondary, and tertiary industries. It enables local people to
appreciate the value of resources in the area and utilize them as inputs
for creating value-added products and services. Thus entrepreneurship
diversifies sources of livelihood and increases per capita income.
Furthermore, it creates jobs for the under/unemployed labor force and
improves the autonomy and independence of rural households. In reality,
however, nurturing successful entrepreneurs has often faced challenges
such as a lack of financial support and social recognition, and rural
people rarely start businesses or put their business ideas into
practice. Therefore the social infrastructure that underpins
entrepreneurs’ entry into markets and makes them resilient against
failure needs to be discussed and developed. The entrepreneurial mindset
is based on the idea of taking risks, and entrepreneurs should be able
to enter and exit markets freely even after experiencing failure.
The course is designed to build the capabilities of rural
entrepreneurs, SME operators, and rural development planners, trainers,
and consultants who are engaged in business advisory services and/or are
interested in initiating businesses in rural areas. At the end of the
course, the enrollees will be familiar with innovative entrepreneurial
thinking and have an understanding of various entrepreneurial strategies
in line with sustainable rural development. The specific objectives are
for participants to: