Successful small-scale manufacturing from small islands



Title Successful small-scale manufacturing from small islands: comparing firms benefiting from locally available raw material input
Author(s) Godfrey Baldacchino
Journal Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Date 2005
Volume 18
Issue 1
Start page 21
End page 37
Abstract This paper draws on an European Commission-supported Leonardo da Vinci Vocational Training pilot project-in-progress to review the prospects for SMEs in small island territories. It, focusing on manufacturing firms, and deliberately selects those which conform to a tough set of conditions of "success": strong and consistent export orientation; local ownership; locally developed or adapted technology; and a workforce of up to 50 employees. This paper is based on "best practice" data collated specifically from five such "successful" firms, each based in one of five European island regions, manufacturing a product which benefits from locally available, raw material input. Research findings suggest that idiosyncratic features associated with smallness and islandness identity facilitate business success in such locations in spite of various well-documented structural handicaps. These features include a strong branding of the product with the respective island and associated characteristics island; free riding on island tourism; limited domestic local firm rivalry; an appreciation of social capital and the "quality of island life"; and the luring of islanders back to their island in order to become local entrepreneurs.

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