Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Entrepreneurial outcomes and enterprise size in US retail farmers' markets

  • Gail W. Feenstra (a1), Christopher C. Lewis (a2), C. Clare Hinrichs (a3), Gilbert W. Gillespie (a4) and Duncan Hilchey (a5)...
Abstract
Abstract

Recent studies have suggested that farmers' markets are increasingly important contributors to the economic development of rural and urban communities in the US. Yet, little is known about the specific ways and the extent to which farmers' markets contribute to developing their vendors' capacities as entrepreneurs or affect vendors' business success. In this study, we examine the capacities of farmers' market vendors in three states—New York, Iowa and California—and associated entrepreneurial outcomes. In particular, we explore how vendors' business activities and capacities are associated with different sizes of enterprises. A mail survey of up to 400 vendors, from 20 markets in each state, was conducted in 1999 to examine factors associated with business outcomes and vendor capacities. The importance of farmers' markets to small-, medium- and large-size enterprises and the particular contributions that have been most helpful to vendors were identified. Small-scale enterprises are still the most numerous at farmers' markets, making up almost 56% of all vendors. More than half of these enterprises are operated by part-time farmers or market gardeners. We found that the small enterprises had both less business and market experience, and sell at markets closer to home than do medium and large enterprises. Although these vendors with small enterprises have engaged in fewer entrepreneurial activities, made fewer business contacts and acquired fewer skills at farmers' markets, compared to medium and large enterprises they were more likely to consider farmers' markets to be their most important business development opportunity. Although, for these small enterprises, participating informers' markets may not yield financial gains as large as those gained by medium- and large-scale vendors, farmers' markets may be one of the few options for entrepreneurs to maintain and/or enhance their market niche in a community. Key information needs of small-, medium- and large-size enterprises are described, as well as suggestions for ways in which local educational institutions, Cooperative Extension, government agencies and nonprofit organizations can help support these enterprises and enhance community economic development in their regions.

Copyright
Corresponding author
G.W. Feenstra (gwfeenstra@ucdavis.edu).
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Journal of Alternative Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0889-1893
  • EISSN: 1478-5498
  • URL: /core/journals/american-journal-of-alternative-agriculture
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 24 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 256 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 24th July 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.