rss_2.0Croatian Regional Development Journal FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Croatian Regional Development Journal Regional Development Journal Feed Influence of a Business Incubator on the Business Success of a Beginner Entrepreneur: Case Study of a Technology-innovation Center in Međimurje County<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The recession of the 1990s in Europe and the United States of America marked a defining moment for entrepreneurship. Business incubators emerged as a means of redistributing strategic resources and developing new tools for local and regional economies. In Croatia, most incubators are founded by cities and counties, with two private incubators also in operation. The Technological Innovation Center “Međimurje” (TICM) in Čakovec was established by Međimurje County in 2009 to incubate startup entrepreneurs, with the aim of supporting regional development and strengthening the entrepreneurial sector. With recent population emigration, the Međimurje County Development Plan until 2027 underscores the heightened importance of TICM as an entrepreneurial support institution. This paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the challenges, needs, and obstacles faced by beginner entrepreneurs working in the TICM incubator. It critically evaluates the extent to which TICM meets the needs of newly founded companies, identifies the challenges it faces, and proposes solutions. By analysing the survey responses, the research questions were answered, and guidelines for the potential future operation of the incubator were developed. Research shows unequivocally that there are numerous advantages of doing business in an incubator, primarily the possibility of survival in the market. The work determines the needs of beginner entrepreneurs, which can guide the building and redefinition of existing services, and also highlights the need to increase the incubator’s capacity. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Local Population on the Effects of Tourism: A Case Study of the City of Šibenik<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Tourism represents an important determinant of global recognition and regional growth and development of the Republic of Croatia, especially the coastal part of the country. However, there is no doubt that any tourism activity has strong economic, socio-cultural, social, and environmental effects. Mass tourism brings numerous advantages. However, the growing concentration of tourists also leads to negative effects, of which residents are the most affected. Šibenik is a tourist town whose development is primarily based on tourism, and this destination, due to its centuries-old history and geographic location, is attractive to tourists. This paper aims to investigate the extent to which tourism affects the quality of life of the local population based on a preliminary survey of a sample of residents of the city of Šibenik. This paper aims to investigate in detail the practical aspects of tourism. The respondents’ perceptions and tourism’s real, tangible, and measurable effects will be analyzed to draw valuable conclusions. This approach enables a deeper understanding of the impact of tourism on various aspects of society and the environment. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Spam Detection with Machine Learning<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper aims to provide results of empirical experiments on the accuracy of different machine learning algorithms for detecting spam messages, using a public dataset of spam messages. The originality of our study lies in the integration of topic modeling, specifically employing Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) alongside machine learning algorithms for spam detection. By extracting hidden topics and uncovering patterns in spam and non-spam messages, we provide unique insights into the distinguishing characteristics of spam messages. Moreover, the integration of machine learning is a powerful tool in bolstering risk control measures ensuring the sustainability of digital platforms and communication channels. The research tests the accuracy of spam detection classifiers on an open-source dataset of spam messages. The key findings of this study reveal that the Logistic Regression classifier achieved the highest F score of 0.986, followed by the Support Vector Machine classifier with a score of 0.98 and the Naive Bayes classifier with a score of 0.955. The study concludes that Logistic Regression outperforms Naive Bayes and Support Vector Machine in text classification, particularly in spam detection, emphasizing the role of machine learning techniques in optimizing risk management strategies for sustained digital ecosystems. This capability stems from Logistic Regression’s adeptness in modeling complex relationships, enabling it to achieve high accuracy on training and test datasets. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Corporate Responsibility: Unveiling the ‘Purpose’ as the Fourth P in Elkington’s 3Ps Model<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In today’s business world, there is a growing recognition of the need for companies to be conscious of their social and environmental impact, aligning with the European Union’s goal of becoming a zero-impact continent by 2050. Businesses are now seen as key players in this transformation, moving away from traditional economic models. The contemporary framework underscores ignoring societal and environmental impacts is no longer viable. In this transformative era, a notable paradigm shift is evident as businesses shift from solely maximizing profits to optimizing them, balancing financial success with societal and environmental benefits. This change marks a departure from the traditional focus on just the bottom line, highlighting the dual role of companies as both profit-oriented and key drivers of positive societal change. This paradigm underscores a symbiotic relationship between profitability and positive societal impact, echoing the EU’s sustainable and responsible business paradigm vision. This narrative posits the EU as a trailblazer, spearheading a collective effort to harness the transformative potential of the business sector in realizing a zero-impact future by 2050. The paper aims to expand Elkington’s 3Ps model (People, Planet, Profit) and stakeholder theory by introducing ‘Purpose’ as a crucial fourth dimension, emphasizing the importance of a company’s underlying motives and values in shaping sustainable and responsible business practices. This paper reveals that integrating ‘Puropse’ into business models aligns with contemporary environmental and social governance standards and significantly enhances stakeholder engagement, fostering a more resilient corporate ecosystem. </p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Financing Alternative for Entrepreneurial Ventures<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Entrepreneurs often use various sources of financing to finalise an entrepreneurial idea. Crowdfunding on specialised internet platforms is an alternative method for collecting funds from several small sources for business investments and projects. The biggest difference between crowdfunding and other forms of financing is that crowdfunding uses smaller amounts of money from many investors interested in a business idea. Crowdfunding has been globally known for over a decade, and in Croatia, the interest has been growing for several years. The paper aims to demonstrate the importance and potential of crowdfunding, which, as a collective micro-investment of citizens, can serve as an alternative funding source for entrepreneurial ventures. The paper presents the research results conducted in Croatia based on the data collected through survey research. The paper investigates the knowledge and familiarity with the term and motives for investing through crowdfunding platforms.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Profitability in Railway Transport of Selected Companies in the European Union<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explores the factors affecting the net profit margins of railway companies, a relatively under-researched topic. The analysis focuses on ten railway companies within the European Union from 2010 to 2019. Historically, the railway has played a critical role in economic growth, especially during the first industrial revolution. Despite its influence waning in the latter half of the 20<sup>th</sup> century, it remains an integral component of the economy. The current rise of the green economy provides a vital motivation to focus on railways as a research subject. In this study, the authors examine the effect of six factors on the net profit margin of railway companies. The results indicate that the number of passengers, labour productivity, and the number of employees positively influence the net profit margin. Interestingly, the paper finds evidence of economies of scale in passenger transport but not goods transport. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that the number of employees positively affects the net profit margin, contradicting the widely held assumption about the low productivity of workers in the public sector and state-owned companies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Information Literacy in Nursing as a Prerequisite for Financial Sustainability<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper examines information technology and information literacy of employees as one of the more essential prerequisites for creating smart hospitals, which are, on the other hand, a prerequisite for sustainable financial operations. Since nursing is the backbone of every hospital, research is focused on the nursing profession. Namely, if medical personnel do not know the basics of information and communication technology (ICT) and are incapable of recognizing, finding and structuring information into new knowledge and exchanging it with colleagues, an intelligent hospital is impossible, and the business is worse. For this reason, research was conducted to determine the state of computer and information literacy in the nursing field in hospitals in north-western Croatia. It was carried out in 2021, which determined the ratio of administrative work and health care and examined the level of ICT knowledge of nurses and technicians. Analysing the secondary, higher and higher medical school curriculum determined the current situation and required improvements. The research results showed that computer and information literate staff spend less time on administration; they estimate that there is not enough content on computer literacy in the existing curricula. The hospital's operations will also be efficient because the competencies of the nurses will enable better implementation of business processes and a better financial result for the hospital.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Challenges of Text-to-Image Generation: Sustainability Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Text-to-image generation is a rapidly growing field that aims to generate images from textual descriptions. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the latest trends and developments, highlighting their importance and relevance in various domains, such as art, photography, marketing, and learning. The paper describes and compares various text-to-image models and discusses the challenges and limitations of this field. The findings of this paper demonstrate that recent advancements in deep learning and computer vision have led to significant progress in text-to-image models, enabling them to generate high-quality images from textual descriptions. However, challenges such as ensuring the legality and ethical implications of the final products generated by these models need to be addressed. This paper provides insights into these challenges and suggests future directions for this field. In addition, this study emphasises the need for a sustainability-oriented approach in the text-to-image domain. As text-to-image models advance, it is crucial to conscientiously assess their impact on ecological, cultural, and societal dimensions. Prioritising ethical model use while being mindful of their carbon footprint and potential effects on human creativity becomes crucial for sustainable progress.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Retail Second-hand Clothing Sector in Developing Economy: Case study of Liberia<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The proliferation of environmental awareness and the growing recognition of the significance of sustainability has resulted in a new trend of retailers embracing secondhand reselling from unsold or unwanted inventories. Their numbers are increasing while also leveraging various business models, strategies, and procedures. This study uses a survey data of 154 responses from retailers of second-hand clothing across four cities in Liberia to evaluate the used clothing sector in the country. Findings from the survey highlight that while the SHC value chain encourages sustainable consumption, it is also a promoter of economic growth, particularly for developing countries emerging from war. Its retail growth potential is closely tied to the level of economic development geared toward supporting subsistence activities. Findings also show that respondents strongly oppose banning the importation of used clothes and the notion that second-hand undergarments pose health challenges. These findings are essential for providing business owners with understanding of the retailing process and how they can strengthen their foothold in the used clothing sector. They also emphasize the used clothing industry’s significance in Liberia and create avenues for future research.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue sustainability and urbanization: A review of research topics<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Using a systematic literature review and bibliography, this paper aims to map the research field of urban sustainability. The keywords “urban sustainability and urbanization” were used to search the Web of Science database. Following fair and unambiguous criteria, the most significant research in urban sustainability analysis has been chosen. The fundamental goal of this research is to provide a bibliometric analysis of nearly thirty years of urban sustainability research. In total, 787 articles were extracted from the literature database on the Web of Science. The literature was analyzed using VOSviewer, a scientific mapping software program. Incorporating multiple network analysis approaches such as keyword co-occurrence, co-citation, and bibliographic coupling, VOSviewer is used to determine prominent topic areas and to identify relevant authors, publications, and journals. The present state of urban sustainability research has been assembled to identify research gaps and propose future research paths.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Attitudes, Myth, and Perceptions towards COVID-19 Vaccine among typical educated Sub-Saharan Africa: A Web-Based Survey<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The covid-19 pandemic is a major health challenge for society and health workers globally. The study sought to determine the effect of perception, attitudes, and myths on vaccine acceptance in residents in West African countries. This cross-sectional study of 1170 respondents was conducted while maintaining social distancing measures in sub-Sahara Africa. Data was collected using a validated self-administered questionnaire via social media platforms. Data gathered were analysed using SPSS version 25.0 for windows. Of 1170 responses received, 59.5%, 51.8%, 70.8%, and 39.5% were from respondents between 30–39 years, males, from English-speaking countries, and had a college degree or above. Respondents had good knowledge (96.999%) of the COVID-19 vaccine, and information about the vaccine was mainly through social media/internet (55.6%) and media houses (23.8%). The overall results show that the majority of the respondents, 96.80% were aware of the Vaccine through social media. However, the findings from covariates show that myth and perception, gender, educational qualification, and employment status have a significant impact (p&lt;0.05) on COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. The study suggests that people in Sub-Saharan Africa need to be reassured of the importance of vaccinations through proper information dissemination. Thus, information highlighted a need for Stakeholders and Policymakers to contribute to holding an optimistic attitude and perception free of devoid of misconceptions circulating on social media towards vaccine acceptance.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue an effective web solution for managing images and their versions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this paper is to describe the process of creating a web service and its client applications. One can combine them and create Flare application, an image repository which simplifies the image management process in developing web or mobile applications. Original image versioning is enabled so that users can have several different versions of the same image in their application. These versions are created by adding parameters to the original image URL. The newly created image version is saved on the server to optimize each subsequent request for the identical version. Client application provides a graphical interface for web service interaction via HTTPS protocol.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue trends and e-inclusion in the Republic of Croatia – a case study of the 54+ population<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Global demographic trends indicate that the share of the elderly in the total population is growing due to the increase in life expectancy and the decline in the number of births. The policy of sustainable development addresses this problem because the number of pensioners and life expectancy are increasing, the number of younger employees is declining, and there is a need to extend working life if possible. Consequently, this affects the relief of pension funds on the one hand, and on the other, employers need to make additional efforts to ensure that senior employees develop digital competencies so that they can be active in the business system. Due to their age, numerous members of the 54+ population have limitations (eyesight, motor skills, acquisition of new knowledge, adaptation) making it difficult to develop digital literacy and remain active. Leaving the business environment usually brings a kind of personal sense of “liberation” from the obligation to adapt to the challenges of the digital age and raise digital literacy, which in turn leads to isolation and a growing digital generation gap. This is a social problem that requires an active and systematic approach to solution through public policies. The paper presents key indicators that can support all previously stated claims. The main data sources are mainly secondary databases such as the data of the Croatian Bureau of Statistics on the Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011 and 2021 (hereinafter referred to as Census) in the Republic of Croatia, Eurostat data on e-society, scientific papers and public policies on the issue.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue transformation of cultural tourism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Tourism value of a modern tourist destination depends on managing and organizing social, historical, cultural and natural resources into a unique tourist attraction. Changing trends in cultural tourism and technological development affect the creation of new cultural tourism products and channels of their promotion. Virtual and augmented reality offer new ways of promotion and consumption of cultural tourism services. Destinations adapt to these changes by creating a tourism offer in accordance with sustainable development. Furthermore, tourist destinations needed to adapt to Covid-19 pandemic conditions and therefore started using new trends in virtual and augmented reality. Virtual reality and digital technologies are beneficial in creating and implementing new forms of cultural tourism, especially in the given circumstances of new travel rules and changed tourist expectations, with an emphasis on social distance, preserving the health of tourists and local population and protecting the environment. The aims of this paper are to define the changes in cultural tourism caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and explore the effect of new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality on cultural tourism development. The paper also aims to determine the possibilities for cultural tourism development regarding new trends. Historical method, desk research, analysis and synthesis have been used for the purpose of this paper. Paper contribution is reflected in applying new trends which resulted in changes in tourist behaviour in pandemic conditions, as well as insights into the possibilities of developing different models of cultural tourism consumption in accordance with new technological achievements.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue project – ideas, implementation and activities for integrating vulnerable groups into the digital society<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Digital literacy is important in many areas of life, such as remote working, using public services on the Internet, communication, buying goods and services, education, participation in political and cultural events, entertainment and leisure. Digital literacy enhances employability of young people in the global labour market. It can reduce financial insecurity and increase access to information, finding advice and support. Digital literacy is also important for the elderly, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups because it enables equal participation in society, independent living, working, and reduces the risk of social isolation. Some of the goals of the Digital Literacy Development Network and the key goal of the working group for Digital Citizenship are digital inclusion of individuals from all age groups, improved quality of life and empowerment through digital technologies. In this paper, initial chapters describe the benefits of digital technologies and the Internet for vulnerable groups. The paper continues with a presentation of the basic idea, implementation and work of the Digital Literacy Development Network as part of the project. In this paper, the emphasis is on the description and implementation of the activities of the working group for Digital Citizenship, which deals with public opinion polls and the needs of digital inclusion of vulnerable groups and areas. The paper ends with recommendations for creating guidelines for national, regional and local decision makers. Once created, these guidelines can be used in future strategic documents with the purpose of actively including a particular population group in the digital society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue importance of preserving destination space and local identity in the context of sustainable development in tourism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A sustainable tourist destination and its content are becoming targets of growing tourism of specific interests. Visits to art or sports events are increasingly part of shorter vacations during weekends or holidays. At the same time, on the global tourist market, the interest of tourism consumers in tangible and intangible cultural heritage is growing, as well as the interest in rural tourism in a peaceful rural environment with traditional values. Interest in ancient culture is the focus of interest of modern consumers, as well as cycling, hunting, green - eco tourism, cruise travel, travel for health - Medical Spa, food and drink tourism, and especially wine tourism. Tourism is a changing, dynamic activity that adapts to increasingly demanding and sophisticated tourism consumers who have changed in the last ten years with a different way of life, pace, style and standard, working hours and the fact that they no longer go on vacation once a year. The aim of this work is to point out the importance of protecting the destination area and preserving local identity.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and demonstration of software application functionality for solving the problem of consumer behavior prediction<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Markov chains have a wide application in predicting the movement of various phenomena. The aim of this paper is to present the development and functionality of a software application for solving the problem of predicting consumer behavior using the Markov chain method. The software application is primarily intended for predicting the use of electronic services and forecasting the number of users. The work of the software application was tested on the example of an organization whose activity is the provision of electronic and financial services. The importance of predicting the use of services and forecasting the number of users is reflected in the assessment of the capacity of servers on which the services of the organization are located. The software application contains user instructions for easier use and interpretation of the obtained results.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue features in the hotel industry: Croatian hotel websites<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The hotel industry undeniably holds strong market power. Its economic impact can affect the infrastructural, economic, and digital development of a particular region. In addition to numerous advantages, digital development has also posed certain challenges for the hotel industry, such as fierce competition and a struggle for market power, which in turn lead to constant searching for new beneficial solutions. Hotel websites need to be of good quality to have a positive impact on profitability. Quality websites are functional and useful, and innovation is a common factor observed when testing quality. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the innovation activity of Croatian hotel websites. Two methods were used for research purposes: the e-MICA framework and content analysis. Descriptive statistics and the significance of Chi-squared tests were used to analyse the results. Research findings suggest that Croatian hotels have adopted innovative features on their websites modestly: mostly, 5-star hotels, hotel chains, and foreign-owned hotels as well as hotels focused strategically on direct sales channels. The obtained results are important for future research which should analyse the issue in more depth. Furthermore, hoteliers could also benefit from these results, and use them to their advantage in order to revise and improve their existing strategies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Regional Development: Digital Transformation of Higher Education Institutions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper presents the findings of a study on digital maturity in higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Empirical research was conducted in 2020. Teachers from eight public higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina were included in the sample. The findings revealed that digital transformation has been ongoing in these institutions for some time, that some results have been achieved, but that digital maturity has not yet been attained. The findings also revealed barriers that must be overcome in order to accelerate digitalization and reap the anticipated benefits.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Application of Behavioral Economy to the Art Sector of the Creative Industry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A relatively new scientific discipline that finds its primary source in psychology, better known as behavioural economics, is attracting the attention of many authors. It is increasingly applied for the purpose of better understanding consumers, especially in decision making, including personal feelings and limitations in a realistic way. This paper aims to present a model of application of behavioural economics in the sectors of the creative industry. The creative industry has great potential in the role of regional development, accordingly the application of behavioural economy in its sectors can have a positive impact on the further development of the economy of the Republic of Croatia. The paper proposes a model for applying mental accounting to increase the number of visitors in the arts and culture sector to increase the attendance at events of projects funded by EU projects and which must be free.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue