Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 497344
Title Entrepreneurship in agriculture and healthcare : Different entry strategies of care farmers
Author(s) Hassink, Jan; Hulsink, Willem; Grin, John
Source Journal of Rural Studies 43 (2016). - ISSN 0743-0167 - p. 27 - 39.
Department(s) PPO/PRI AGRO Multifunctioneel Landgebruik
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Keyword(s) Entrepreneurship - Legitimacy - Multifunctional agriculture - Opportunity structure

Care farming provides an interesting context of multifunctional agriculture where farmers face the challenge of having to bridge the gap between agriculture and healthcare and acquire new customers, partners and financial resources from the care sector. We compared different entry strategies of different types of care farmers: varying in weak and strong multi-functionality, the degree of legitimacy and background of the initiator. Our objective is to provide insight into the key factors contributing to the development and success of care farms, in particular by focusing on the role of entrepreneurship, commitment and the ability to cope with barriers in the environment. We developed a framework based on entrepreneurship and opportunity structure. We interviewed different types of care farmers. Many of them were farmers' spouses with prior experience in the care sector. Entrepreneurship and the local and national opportunity structure, like (changes in) financing regulations, interact and explain the accessibility and growth potential of care farms. Pioneers in the emerging care farming sector faced a lack of cognitive and sociopolitical legitimacy and a mismatch with incumbent financing structures. Initially, they only succeeded with sufficient levels of entrepreneurial behavior and commitment. Having a professional background and network in the care sector was helpful in the starting phase. Later entrants experienced more legitimacy and fewer barriers as financing regulations had changed. They had different entry options: being independent or under supervision of a care organization or a regional support organization of care farms. For this latter option, newcomer problems were solved by established care organizations. However, there was a risk of becoming too dependent on established care organizations. Initiatives with weak multi-functionality failed more often than initiatives with strong multi-functionality due to unrealistic expectations and limited commitment on the part of initiators.

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