The Competitiveness of Rural-Based Enterprises in Poland’s Wielkopolska Region
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Publication date: 2014-06-30
GNPJE 2014;271(3):81-110
The paper studies the competitiveness of non-agricultural enterprises doing business in rural areas. It examines the conditions in which these enterprises operate and the role they play in the sustainable economic development of rural areas and the economy as a whole. The author uses a model of enterprise competitiveness reflected in the competitive potential, competitive position and competitive strategy of the studied businesses. Wiśniewska collected her research material through questionnaires. She surveyed random businesses based in rural areas in Poland’s western Wielkopolska region. The author found that entrepreneurship in rural areas is largely based on traditional instruments of competitiveness that enable rural-based businesses to secure a competitive advantage. The enterprises surveyed shape their competitiveness on the basis of product quality, price and close relations with buyers, the author says. The article examines existing threats to the competitiveness of the studied enterprises. The most important threats are risk avoidance and a lack of financial means to undertake new economic and market solutions, the author notes. The businesses surveyed are inflexible and poorly adapted to new market conditions, according to Wiśniewska. At a time of growing domestic and international competition on local markets, rural-based firms will enjoy a lasting competitive advantage only if they decide to work together and embrace product, process and market innovation, the author concludes.
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