Abstract: East Meets West in an Entrepreneurial Farming Village in Japan: Endogenous Development Theories and Economic Gardening Practices
In this paper, I discuss one possible link between entrepreneurship and economic growth at the municipality level. I compare "endogenous development" theories developed separately in Europe and Japan to create community-based economic growth and to maintain local resources and industries. Japanese theorists pay more attention to the contribution of entrepreneurs. I relate endogenous development theories to the "economic gardening" approach introduced in an American city, practiced in many cities inside and outside the United States, and consistent with endogenous development theories in that it encourages the growth of local business. To demonstrate the validity of the application of endogenous development theories and the economic gardening approach in Japan, I introduce a case study of rural economic development in Ogata, a Japanese farming village, that involved significant achievement by entrepreneurs. I conclude that entrepreneurship matters in local economic development, because entrepreneurs with proper support mechanisms function as effective change agents in the economy.