Innovation and entrepreneurship in aging societies: theorical reflection and a case study from kamikatsu, Japan

Par Kazue Haga
This paper aims at applying the Schumpeterian framework to issues of rural communities with shrinking and aging populations and a lost linkage to economic dynamics and to innovation. Discussion of how to obtain wealth and the well-being of townspeople remain undeveloped in theory and practice. This paper asks how innovative entrepreneurship and enterprise development can contribute to regional and communal competitiveness as well as create positive relationships between work and well-being. By applying Schumpeterian approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation a hypothetical schema is built. Our case study of a typical rural aging town with a stagnant economy provides empirical evidence to support the theoretical conception. The personality of the entrepreneur plays the main role in the creation of an innovative enterprise and for improvement in the well-being of townspeople. With entrepreneurial leadership, older residents in rural communities may indeed create disruptive innovation with low technology and become healthier and happier.
JEL Codes: J14, O22, O35
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