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NOTE: Since 2009 the title of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE) has been changed to the title above.  ISSN numbers: IJEE 1649-2269 and IRE 2009-2822

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#1568 - Exploring the Relationship between Micro-Enterprises and Regional Development: Evidence from Tunisia

IRE Vol 15: Issue 4, 2017 (publishing by 31/12/17)

Author(s): Faten Gazzah (University of Caen, France, and University of Sousse, Tunisia), Jean Bonnet (University of Caen, France) and Sana El Harbi (University of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

We investigate the relationship between the presence of micro-enterprises and regional development, as measured by a validated index of regional development, at the level of Tunisian delegations (small-scaled regions). Applying spatial measures and spatial econometric techniques on a data set of 262 delegations, our results show that in disadvantaged areas, a higher micro-enterprise presence is positively related to regional development. However, in relatively higher developed areas of Tunisia, micro-enterprises appear to play only a marginal role in regional development. Our results emphasise the importance of attracting large, capital-intensive firms in efficiency-driven economies like Tunisia. Nevertheless, although not quite a replacement for large firms, our results also show the important and positive role that micro-enterprises can play in regions where large, capital-intensive firms are absent.