Topic: Doing qualitative study in researching entrepreneurship in rural communities
The author advocates the strength of qualitative approach in sociological research seeking to understand local knowledge and personal insights of the entrepreneurs in rural communities. The paper is based on its author’s qualitative research experience (interviews, focus-groups, windshield survey, etc.). The author discusses theoretical and methodological issues related to community capability approach which is useful to explain involvement of rural communities in local development through the analysis of local initiatives including their social, economic, environmental, and political dimensions. Qualitative data help to understand motives and beliefs of local people including those fostering their involvement in rural entrepreneurship. Quantitative analysis and statistical data well characterize rural businesses; however, it is not enough to explain why people choose particular economic activity, what motives, beliefs and values underline their businesses, why people move from urban areas to rural villages for settling down and running their own business. The qualitative sociological analysis is useful to explain all these aspects. A number of interviews with rural entrepreneurs (for example, producers of medical plants, horse breeders and other representatives of equine sector, entrepreneurs from rural tourism sector, farmers, social entrepreneurs) enlightens vast of social, cultural and value based motives for being involved in rural entrepreneurship.