Step-Change: Micro-Entrepreneurs’ Entry into the Middle-Class Market

Falylath Babah Daouda*, P.T.M. Ingenbleek, H.C.M. van Trijp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


With upcoming middle classes in Africa, micro-entrepreneurs witness new opportunities that can potentially lift them out of poverty. Exploiting these opportunities requires entrepreneurs to make a ‘step-change’ away from the bottom of the pyramid to middle-class markets. This process hosts potential conflicts between informal-sector and formal-sector stakeholders as it requires both new resources and continued access to existing resources. By taking a strategic marketing perspective, this study labels and defines the phenomenon of step-change and offers an explanatory conceptual framework for it. The article draws implications for business development, the gender debate, as well as academic research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)129-147
JournalJournal of African Business
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • business development
  • micro-entrepreneurs
  • poverty
  • resource-based view
  • Social mobility


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