Research was conducted to explore the factors which supported and hindered the success of home-based businesses in Appalachia. A qualitative case study utilized a structured interview guide to obtain data associated with the personal traits, situational traits, and environmental factors of home-based entrepreneurs in these rural communities. Personal traits were described as the entrepreneurs' need for achievement and risk taking propensities that were main motivators entrepreneurs used to pursue and to continue their home-based businesses. Situational traits included the entrepreneurs' increased education which had a positive effect on the success of their home-based businesses. Environmental factors created challenges beyond the entrepreneurs' control and had negative effects on the success of their home-based businesses. Key findings were that this research helped to improve understanding about underemployment in rural Appalachia by learning the characteristics of successful home-based entrepreneurs. These home-based businesses added to the local economy by generating extra income for the entrepreneurs. There was a pattern of these participants' home-based businesses as mainly being unpaid, part-time, and lower income. This pattern was a significant, but expected, finding because these nearly "break-even" situations pointed toward hobbies that began earning some income but were most likely partially financially supported by the participants' regular work outside the home. Recommendations for further research and future planning were also described.
|Subjects||Entrepreneurship; Management; Social structure|
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