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Arctic entrepreneurship development factors

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When studying Arctic entrepreneurship, the researcher encounters many paradoxes. Against the background of a powerfully developed topic of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in regional science, the layer of work on the entrepreneur in the Arctic is extremely thin. What is even worse – well-known mainstream theories turns out to be unsuitable for the study of Arctic entrepreneurship.

Under these conditions, the only way out for a researcher is to attach to a zonal paradigm and recognize the Arctic as an anti-mainland, and Arctic entrepreneur as the full antipode of a continental fellow. The adherence to the zonal paradigm removes contradictions and equips the researcher with a comparative method to elaborate all facets of the Arctic exceptionalism in the figure of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur here is understood as a close «relative» to the indigenous peoples and the entire Arctic economy, the Arctic environment, and their specific behavioral traits and adaptation strategies to natural and economic extremes.

The most important factors in the development of entrepreneurship in the Arctic, which create a mosaic picture of situations in the Arctic territories, are: the geographical location – an island or quasi-mainland position; the presence of large resource corporations and a specific stage of their exploitation of the resource field; the institutional structure of the local economy in terms of the degree of nationalization. The cumulative impact of these factors creates a multi-faceted picture, when the Murmansk oblast is at one pole of the extreme favorable conditions for business, and the Chukotka autonomous okrug is at the other extreme hardness.

However, the favorable factors themselves do not guarantee the active development of entrepreneurship. The example of the Murmansk oblast demonstrates the opposite: the conditions for entrepreneurs here are so comfortable that they prefer to slip to the south, where there is no need to bear the burden of northern guarantees and compensations for the employee, and from there to conduct their business activities.

About the Author

Alexander N. Pilyasov
Institute of Regional Consulting
Russian Federation


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For citation:

Pilyasov A.N. Arctic entrepreneurship development factors. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(1):46-56.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)