The resilience of rural local communities is tested to the utmost. Aging and shrinking population and disappearance of public services necessitate new configurations between businesses and communities in order to secure their existence. Rural SMEs are embedded in various ways in their localities. This benefits both enterprises and communities, but too much embeddedness can also backfire business-local community relationships.
In this research, we ask how perceptions of social proximity influence rural SMEs insights on their responsibilities, how the relationships between enterprises and localities are built on the sense of home and how the models such as community-based social entrepreneurship can be locally justified. Empirical data of the study will be collected by using survey, interviews and ethnographic fieldwork. The study produces new knowledge about the dynamics between rural businesses and local communities and supports the development of communities and SMEs.
The reserach is funded by Academy of Finland.