Business in the backwaters: how ‘distance from the core’ impacts entrepreneurs’ lived experiences

Andreas Giazitzoglu, Thierry Volery, James Cunningham, Antoine Musu, Carmine Bianchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using a phenomenological approach, we analyse the voices of entrepreneurs living in the peripheral ecosystems of Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK), Palermo (Italy) and Perth (Australia). These ecosystems are defined by the considerable physical distance between their geographical location and the location of a larger, more established ‘core’ ecosystem in their nation. The purpose of our paper is to examine how distance from the core is perceived to both enable and constrain entrepreneurship in peripheral contexts. We introduce ‘distance from the core’ as a significant hitherto unexplored theme to consider when exploring the lived experiences of entrepreneurs in peripheral contexts. Empirically, we present data that affirms and expands extant findings revealing how entrepreneurs rooted in peripheral contexts react to the structural conditions around them. Methodologically, we demonstrate the value of phenomenological research in revealing the subjective ways entrepreneurial agency, structure and distance intersect. We highlight that policymakers must take the voices of entrepreneurs in a peripheral ecosystem into account when designing and implementing enterprise policies that aim to develop entrepreneurship in peripheral contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-631
Number of pages25
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number5-6
Early online date6 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 2024


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