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Multiple Business Ownership in the Farm Sector: Differentiating Monoactive, Diversified and Portfolio Enterprises

Carter, Sara (2001) Multiple Business Ownership in the Farm Sector: Differentiating Monoactive, Diversified and Portfolio Enterprises. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 7 (2). pp. 43-59. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

Portfolio entrepreneurship can be an important small business growth strategy, particularly in sectors where economies of scale can be achieved at a relatively low level. This paper reports results of a survey examining the role of farms in the creation of new businesses in rural areas. Three groups of farmers were identified, based on their relative engagement in additional business ownership activities: monoactive farmers; structural diversifiers; and portfolio business owners. Distinctive group differences were apparent in their personal, farm business and managerial characteristics and in their perceptions of business opportunities and constraints. The paper concludes that younger and better trained farmers, in particular, use multiple business ownership as a lateral growth strategy. Finally, the paper suggests that additional business activities are best viewed as a continuum from the diversification of existing assets to the ownership of a portfolio of businesses.