Student Involvement as a Tool for Nurturing Business Model Development in Tourism Businesses in the Stockholm Archipelago

Gustaf Onn

Abstract


Tourism consumption in Sweden is booming, but it seems to be at a standstill in the Stockholm archipelago, and most businesses of all kinds in it are small. Therefore, an eu-Interreg-financed educational community engagement project aiming at business model development in the archipelagos of Turku, Åland (both in Finland), and Stockholm was launched, as Finland has a similar situation. In this paper, the foundations of the project, the literature on the issues of being rural and in the archipelago, and business models are reviewed and put in perspective through preliminary empirical results of the project, in while municipality and some business representatives have been interviewed. The rationale is that there is a weak scientific understanding of business models in use in the archipelagos.Methodologically, action research is being used in addition to document studies, with unstructured interviews and observations as the primary empirical methods. The primary results for which the empirical findings put light on the intersection of the abovementioned literature bodies are the impact of infrastructural and access problems due to isolation, as well as indications of a community split between second homes and permanent residents. The lifestyle-entrepreneurship jeopardises the economic well-being but enriches the social well-being of the population. The primary conclusions are that seasonality and second homers provide entrepreneurs with large output markets in season, but small ones in the off-season. The business equation cannot omit place since it is part of the social well-being of the lifestyle-entrepreneurs, which calls for further research into configurational approaches to strategy in an archipelago context.

Keywords: archipelago business, second homes, lifestyle entrepreneurship, business model development, educational community engagement

https://doi.org/10.26493/2335-4194.11.73-86


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