This paper contributes to the research on entrepreneurship in rural areas by focusing on the absorption and investment plans developed with European Funds and implemented in Romania in 2007-2013 for rural development. Entrepreneurship in the European Union is seen as the solution for creating and increasing jobs number, developing new business models, and is related very often with creativity and innovation. Moreover, entrepreneurship is directly linked to the economic performance of regions (Audretsch, D.B., Keilbach, M., 2005), poverty reduction and contributes to the economic advancement of rural communities. The focus on rural areas is given by the fact that almost half of the Romanian population lives in villages or communes (around 45%), and the main income source comes from agriculture. In the same time, there is an important potential for entrepreneurial projects because rural areas are high underdeveloped, there is a lack of services in major fields as education, social services, entertainment etc. Also, we find a high potential in tourism, especially in ecological, adventure or agro-tourism. We develop a theoretical framework to discuss the potential impact of EU Funds on rural development, the access to public funds for rural population, their readiness for business ownership, the most accessible fields for starting a business and regional variables. Our study is based on public data and official reports on the European Funds received by Romania in the budgetary period of 2007-2013 and other market data that round the entrepreneurship frame in rural areas. We analyze the number of start-ups financed by European funds, type and size of enterprises, number of jobs and reasons for contract cancellation. We find that regions with a reach cultural heritage and closer to the Western border have registered more applications and are more interested in self-employment, but also that given the administrative barriers many entrepreneurs decided to cancel the contracts.
Entrepreneurial initiatives and actions are considered main triggers of economic and social development as well as important factors in order to achieve more cohesion among various countries and regions within the European Union. The main goal of the present paper consists in analyzing the scientific literature on entrepreneurship and its influences on regional development. In the first section of the paper the concepts of entrepreneurship and regional development are broken down from the perspective of various researchers. Next the link between entrepreneurship and regional development is established and it is analyzed how the two terms are interconnected: entrepreneurship might have a positive contribution to the development of a region and in the same time some regions are more attractive for entrepreneurs than others. In the last section of the paper a bibliometric analysis is conducted, which aims at establishing the interest existing in the scientific literature for this research topic based on different criteria such as: number of publications, language of publication, journals where articles have been published, areas of knowledge in which authors have published research on entrepreneurship and regional development etc. The analysis was conducted based on scientific literature published between 2001 and 2017 and indexed in the Web of Science - Core Collection. It is highlighted that most of the publications on entrepreneurship and regional development are articles, published in English in the field of Business economics. Overall, the positive trend regarding the number of publications on this topic reveals a growing interest for this research area.