Rural Entrepreneurship Legal Resource Materials

Entrepreneurship Law Editorial Team



Abstract: Good hands-on economic development book, containing sections on entrepreneurship.


Shervin Espahbod & Jahangir Yadollahi Farsi, Scanning of Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Agritourism in Villages Located in the Suburbs of the Metropolitan Cities of Iran: An Empirical Review (International Conference on Business, Economics and Tourism Management, 2012), available at

Abstract (adapted from author): The purpose of this paper is to identify entrepreneurial opportunities that contribute to the development of agricultural tourism. In this research, the authors have implemented the opportunity discovery model proposed by Morrison and then, after reviewing all published works in the field of rural and agricultural tourism between 2005 and 2010, the authors present their final evaluation. The sample size of the field research includes approximately over 1580 individuals in the localities and over 12587 villages from all across Iran. This shows that if reinforced by appropriate policies, the agricultural tourism in the suburbs of the metropolitan cities in developing countries can be advantageous for the farmers, governments and tourists. For such a change to take effect, an integration of economic, social, legal and managerial approaches is but necessary. The results from the research give a comprehensive insight into the state of agricultural tourism. 

Neil D. Hamilton, America's New Agrarians: Policy Opportunities and Legal Innovations to Support New Farmers, 22 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 523 (2011).

Abstract (from author): This Article addresses how law and policy can be employed to create opportunities for new farmers and considers how this relates to the expansion of local and regional food systems. Part I considers the traditional role played by the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) in supporting new farmers and addresses how the work of the USDA can be enhanced. This discussion builds on the leadership of USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack who, in a July 2010 appearance before the Senate Agriculture Committee, articulated a goal of helping create 100,000 new farmers. Further, this Article presents an extensive set of ideas and recommendations on how the USDA can achieve this goal. Part II considers three topics which address key issues facing new farmers. The three topics are: 1) how the local food policy councils proliferating across the nation can incorporate efforts to support new farmers; 2) how a “new farmer fund” generated in part through market-based consumer-oriented support can be used by organizations working to train and assist new farmers; and 3) how a “farm school” model may address the labor law issues associated with traditional models of on-farm “internships” and apprentices” while expanding the opportunities for people interested in learning about farming. The Article concludes with a brief discussion of the connection between efforts to support new farmers and expanding local and regional food systems and how these developments are both part of the growing national interest in healthy food and direct farmer-to-consumer marketing.

J. Wyatt Kendall, Microfinance in Rural China: Government Initiatives to Encourage Participation by Foreign and Domestic Financial Institutions, 12 N.C. Banking Inst. 375 (2008).

Abstract (from author): An ancient Chinese proverb states: "give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." In today's rapidly developing Chinese economy, however, some people need more than a lesson in fishing to thrive. One essential need is access to banking services. In most developing nations similar to China, access to banking services and wealth go hand-in-hand. That is, people with access to banking services live above the poverty line, whereas those without access to banking services live below the poverty line. Studies have shown that exposure to loans and secure banking services, such as standard savings accounts, provide low-income individuals greater opportunities for business and social development. Absent such services, businesses never get started and families never reap the benefits of interest-bearing accounts. Discrepancies in wealth arise in developing countries in part because access to banking services is a luxury that only a fraction of people in such countries enjoys.

Anthony B. Schutz, Toward a More Multi-Functional Rural Landscape: Community Approaches to Rural Land Stewardship, 22 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 633 (2011).

Abstract (adapted from article): This Article explores how farms and ranches can adapt to meet consumer demand for outdoor activities like hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, or simply enjoying the solace of spending time in rural places. These places hold breathtaking landscapes, but they are often privately owned, relatively inaccessible to the general public, and have not been managed to produce the ecosystem services that would support these activities, despite strong evidence of consumer demand. Historically, farms and ranches have been managed for a single dominant use, undertaken wholly upon an individual's landholdings. Entering the emerging market for nature-based experiences requires that farms and ranches adapt from fragmented single-use businesses to multi-functional enterprises that cooperatively operate at larger spatial scales. This Article explains how lawyers can help farmers and ranchers can make such a move. It refers to the emergence of these enterprises as “nature-based entrepreneurship.” Nature-based entrepreneurship attempts to capitalize on consumer demand for nature-based activities, while also furthering the conservation movement on private lands. As a consumer-oriented conservation approach, nature-based entrepreneurship involves an embrace of market liberalism in pursuit of environmental goals. And, as this Article explains, it may be one of the few feasible means of attaining environmental goals on vast, privately owned rural landscapes.

Jun Yu, Joyce Zhou, Yagang Wang & Youmin Xi, Rural Entrepreneurship in an Emerging Economy: Reading Institutional Perspectives from Entrepreneur Stories, 51 J. Small Bus. Mgmt. 183 (2013), available at

Abstract (by authors): Rural entrepreneurs are of extreme importance in China's progress toward a more marketā€oriented economy as the vast majority of Chinese live in rural areas. From an institutional perspective and based on content analysis of 91 publicly published stories about rural Chinese entrepreneurs broadcast by China Central Television, this paper addresses several key aspects of rural entrepreneurship in China and specifically probes into how different institutional elements (i.e., regulative, normative, and cognitive components) affect the strategic behaviors of rural Chinese entrepreneurs. We found that due to weak regulatory protection of intellectual rights, rural entrepreneurs in China tend to work on innovations on their own or with close family members instead of collaborating with external sources; these entrepreneurs use guanxi strategically to deal with constraints from the institutional environment; it is important to build legitimacy by either building alliances with large, established firms, or acquiring approval from people of authority.

Online Resources

Debora Markley & Don Mackey, Community Environment for Entrepreneurship, Ctr. for Rural Entrepreneurship (June 2003).

Other Materials

Brad D. Cherniak & Cathy Horton-Panzica, Proceedings of the Canada-United States Law Institute Conference on Comparative Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship in Canada and the United States: The Importance of Venture Capital in Promoting Entrepreneurship (April 13-14, 2007).

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