Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Inclusive local development: A strategy for Heraklion, Greece

Benner, Maximilian and Buzin, Johannes and Hoffmann, Jakob and Taifour, Ahmad Azzam (2017): Inclusive local development: A strategy for Heraklion, Greece.

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Abstract

Identifying opportunities to facilitate economic growth is a major challenge in local and regional development. Particularly for local or regional economies confronted with deep structural economic problems, unlocking growth differentials by targeting untapped potentials for employment and entrepreneurship can provide an opportunity to renew themselves. Therefore, it is logical that the “missing entrepreneurs” from among economically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups such as women, senior citizens, people with special needs, or youth as well as immigrants have recently gained attention by scholars and policymakers in local and regional development. Still, there is not yet a clear and comprehensive understanding on how to consider the needs of economically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, both as entrepreneurs or as employees, in local and regional development strategy design. While women and youth entrepreneurship have been subject to an academic and policy debate for some time, the discourse on how to include other economically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups in local or regional economies is far less advanced. The present study reviews the state of literature on inclusive local development and, based on a preliminary analysis of the local economy, proposes a strategy for inclusive local development in Heraklion, Greece. As a locality suffering under the structural economic crisis that has afflicted Greece for almost a decade, a strategy for how to include economically underrepresented or disadvantaged groups in the local economy is both a social necessity and a way to unlock untapped potentials for economic growth.

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