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Entrepreneurship & Socio-Economic Change
This paper examines the case of St. Martin, the smallest inhabited landmass shared by two governments and comprised of two entire subnational island jurisdictions. Since the 1648 Treaty of Concordia, France and the Netherlands have peacefully shared St. Martin. Traditionally very dependent on decision-makers in Paris, the French side of this island became a collectivité d’outre-mer (an overseas community of France) in 2007. The Dutch side had already long enjoyed relative autonomy, using the Netherlands Antillean guilder (florin), while the north side was using the French franc and later the euro. Belonging to a power can offer benefits of “autonomy without sovereignty” such as aid-financed infrastructure and communications, higher-quality health and educational systems, and preferential trade – but also regulatory requirements that can impact entrepreneurship, economic development and social change. The case study of St. Martin can tell us about entrepreneurship on small islands.