Webinar: Strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems in rural & regional areas
17 March@12:00 pm - 1:00 pm$30
High-growth, high-tech entrepreneurship is increasingly being recognised as a mechanism for regions to strategically manoeuvre into more optimal economic positions. Consequently, research and policy attention has been given to developing enabling environments for entrepreneurship. However, while urban centres have established ecosystems for entrepreneurial support, little is known about how entrepreneurial support is nurtured in rural regions. Understanding entrepreneurial support in rural economies is complicated by apparent divergences in the ways in which entrepreneurship is imagined in context.
In 2019, the Cradle Coast Authority, a regional local government organisation, in partnership with Swinburne University established a PhD project to further explore this issue in Cradle Coast region, on the North West and West Coasts of Tasmania. This project explores how entrepreneurial support is situated within a broader development agenda in rural regions, with a view to understanding how rural regional entrepreneurial support might be strengthened.
Entrepreneurial support programs have been developed successfully in Australia and elsewhere, but mainly in metropolitan regions, signalling that there is an unmet need for relevant, coordinated support for rural regional entrepreneurs. The project recognises that institutional actors such as economic development agencies, municipal governments, chambers of commerce, incubators/accelerators and universities play a critical role in supporting entrepreneurship to secure regional economic futures. These actors are organised in a variety of configurations, enabling them to facilitate access to networks, knowledge and resources.
The varying perspectives on entrepreneurial contributions to regional development suggest there is a duality required of many entrepreneurial support forms in rural regions – a local development outcome and an entrepreneurial support outcome, which may be in conflict. The project explores who (people and organisations) is helping to grow entrepreneurs on the Cradle Coast and how these supports might be strengthened.
The session will share case studies preliminary mapping of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Cradle Coast region, highlighting differences between this ecosystem and those of Adelaide and Melbourne. Case studies from the Cradle Coast region will draw attention to relationships between entrepreneurial ecosystem activity and regional development priorities.
Deanna Hutchinson | Cradle Coast Authority
I started with Cradle Coast Authority in November 2019 as a PhD Candidate with Swinburne University. My research is exploring what we can learn about building stronger ecosystems for entrepreneurship in non-metropolitan sub-national regions. I am also an Adjunct Industry Fellow in Griffith University’s Cities Research Institute and a member of the Tasmanian Spatial Information Council. I hold a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from CQ University and have been involved in innovation and entrepreneurship since about 2000. I cut my teeth on national eLearning projects, then moved into simulation and VR. I have been both an intrapreneur and entrepreneur, launching a world first risk management game in the mining industry and later a publishing business. My last role was as CEO of a business association in the spatial industry working across the Asia Pacific region. I grew up in regional Queensland and moved to the rural town of Longford in Tasmania from Brisbane in 2017. I have worked in several countries and I admire the Tasmanian way of innovating.
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