Author(s): Lori Dickes, Temitope Arogundade, Dave Lamie
Regional development and entrepreneurship literature examine the importance of innovative and creative activities for the growth and development of regions. Rural economic diversification continues to challenge many communities throughout the United States. An area of economic opportunity for some rural communities across the United States is entrepreneurial activity in the agriculture and tourism sectors to enhance existing resource advantage(s). The paper explores innovative practices of agritourism farmers in the Southern United States, using South Carolina as a case. Using a theoretical lens of entrepreneurship motivation, this research analyzes the results of a small pilot study of agritourism farmers. The paper contributes to the entrepreneurship literature by testing an existing entrepreneurial motivation model in the context of agritourism. Results show that agritourism farmers have diverse motivations for engaging in these operations and some may be more prioritized than others. Model results highlight the entrepreneurial nature of agritourism and potentially important motivating differences between agritourism farmers and non-agritourism farmers. The study highlights the need to better understand innovation and entrepreneurship in the agritourism sector across communities, along with the value of exploring different methods of examining these processes in rural communities where there are fewer opportunities for non-agriculture sector development.