Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Economic development systems; Engineering and technology entrepreneurship; Supply chains


This research develops a framework of Biobased Entrepreneurial Ventures for Rural Economic Development. Rural economic development poses unique challenges and opportunities, based on available production assets, workforce trends like "brain drain," and access to industry clusters. However, certain entrepreneurial venture opportunities are preferable for rural economic development. Since supply chains are vital to business success, initial emphasis is placed on the biomass resource base to be transformed through entrepreneurial activity into higher economic value outputs. The literature contains research on specific opportunities in rural economic development (e.g. ethanol, wind power). Many of these are limited in scope and depend on economies of scale. Thus, there is an opportunity for a framework offering utility for evaluating entrepreneurial ventures with biomass as a strategic resource. This research integrates three case studies which have been developed for publication. Case 1 features a regional scale biodiesel operation utilizing a flexible feedstock process technology with used cooking oils as a primary input. Case 2 presents a biomass opportunity with algae being harvested from a large wastewater treatment facility. Case 3 examines a prominent food processor's cucumber co-product fractions. These cases help illustrate a variety of factors, conditions and forces that a new venture may encounter. The cases are representative of a range of biobased entrepreneurial ventures with relevance for rural economic development. The resulting framework provides a basis for evaluating future opportunities based on defining characteristics and attributes, as well as entrepreneurial dynamics and regional factors.


Long, Suzanna, 1961-

Committee Member(s)

Daughton, William
Montgomery, Robert
Lewis, John
Cudney, Elizabeth A.
Hanke, Ralph C.


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Engineering Management


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2012


ix, 120 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2012 Norbert Ziemer, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Biomass energy industries
Rural development
Biomass energy -- Economic aspects

Thesis Number

T 10107

Electronic OCLC #