Exploring entrepreneurial-group formation by smallholder Burundian farmers

Bélyse Mupfasoni*, Aad Kessler, Thomas Lans, Rama Lionel Ngenzebuke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of specific internal states (i.e. the set of sustainable values and motivations) that underlie group formation and joint business idea identification of farmer groups in the context of Burundi. Design/methodology/approach: Quantitative and qualitative data were combined in this study. Quantitative data were analyzed using basic statistics. Qualitative data were collected in focus group discussions with farmer groups. Findings: Findings revealed that groups are not just formed on the basis of homophily (same level of internal states) but also on “compensation” and “committed leadership.” Moreover, prior sustainable behavior of members influences sustainability of new group business ideas and the nature (e.g. focus on farming) of that business idea. Research limitations/implications: As this study was done at an early stage of group formation and does not include group dynamics over a longer period of time, further monitoring of the groups is needed to examine if the observed motivation persists. Originality/value: Although there is a vast amount of literature on entrepreneurial and top management teams, literature on the (early) mechanisms of entrepreneurial group formation in an emerging economy and rural context is relatively scarce.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2019


  • Burundi
  • Entrepreneurial teams
  • Group formation
  • Internal states
  • Motivation
  • Rural development
  • Sustainable agriculture

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