Entrepreneurship in rural Sweden: The role of weak ties, strong ties, and ‘good enough’ internet access

This chapter assesses to what extent broadband internet access and social capital influence entrepreneurship in rural Sweden. The chapter combines a quantitative assessment of the relation between broadband access and the start-up rates of micro-enterprises in Swedish municipalities between 2007 and 2012 with a qualitative case study on Dutch lifestyle migrants. Our results show that broadband access is positively correlated with entrepreneurial efforts in rural Sweden compared to larger urban regions. Nevertheless, investments in broadband access may not be the optimal allocation of public resources. Instead, the results suggest that mixing various types of social embeddedness and technical connectivity on a satisfactory, but not necessarily high, level may allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of synergies and create resilient business strategies based on local resources.