Changing business operation and practices


Many home-based businesses trade nationally and internationally, and are important actors in local economies across Europe and OECD member states. While some home-based businesses display growth potential, many seek to remain small in order to maintain the home location.

This work stream seeks to understand what is different about operating a business from home vis-à-vis operating a business from commercial premises.

  • Does traditional business location theory apply to home-based businesses? Do they benefit from agglomeration externalities?
  • How embedded are the owners and their businesses – locally and regionally?
  • How to home-based businesses grow and where are they more likely to grow?

A particular focus lies on digital home-based businesses and the self-employed who use digital work platforms (e.g. Upwork and People Per Hour).

This work stream puts great emphasis on impact work. In particular, we work with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and local authorities to raise awareness of home-based businesses and new types of working and make suggestions how to support these in practice at local and national scales.