Lifestyle Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Rural Areas: The Case of Tourism Entrepreneurs


  • Álvaro Dias Universidade Lusófona/TRIE, ECEO
  • Graça M. Silva Universidade de Lisboa


Lifestyle entrepreneurs play an important role in innovation and sustainability in rural destinations. Their competitiveness depends largely on how they explore their link to the place and generate innovation. To analyze the relationship between the link to the place and innovation, this article uses survey data from a sample of 221 rural lifestyle entrepreneurs. Using PLS-SEM modeling, the results indicate that place familiarity and relational capital positively influence innovation. Furthermore, place familiarity reveals as an important factor for improving relational capital. In its turn, the degree of relational capital contributes positively to the small firm’s knowledge absorption. The results also reveal that, although there is no direct relation between knowledge absorption and innovation, relational capital mediates the relationship between place familiarity and innovation and that there is an indirect relationship between relational capital and innovation, through the mediating effect of knowledge absorption. These results provides important elements for rural tourism destination decision making on innovation and competitiveness.

Author Biographies

  • Álvaro Dias, Universidade Lusófona/TRIE, ECEO

    Campo Grande, 376, 1749-024 Lisbon, Portugal, and ISCTE-IUL, Lisbon, Portugal;

  • Graça M. Silva, Universidade de Lisboa

    ADVANCE/CSG, ISEG, Lisbon School of Economics & Management, Rua Miguel Lupi nº 20, 1249-078 Lisbon, Portugal;






How to Cite

Lifestyle Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Rural Areas: The Case of Tourism Entrepreneurs. (2021). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 31(4), 40-49.