The process of entrepreneurial action at the base of the pyramid in developing countries: a case of vegetable farmers in Benin

Waliou Yessoufou*, Vincent Blok, S.W.F. Omta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The assumption that entrepreneurship is a critical factor in expanding employment, creating wealth and contributing to poverty alleviation at the base of the pyramid (BoP) in developing countries has led to the development of many initiatives to strengthen the entrepreneurial activities of poor people. Despite the fact that entrepreneurship is seen as a strategy in combatting poverty, the process that leads to entrepreneurial action in a BoP context is still unclear. In this paper, we illustrate the possibilities a multi-layered perspective offers to understand the complexity of entrepreneurship in poverty settings. Based on five focus group discussions and 36 in-depth interviews with vegetable farmers in Benin, we examined the entrepreneurship of poor people. We learned that entrepreneurial action is the nexus of individual and exogenous factors in complex relationships. Based on this, we elaborate on the characteristics of the process model of entrepreneurial action. We provide a process-based view of entrepreneurship at the BoP, suggesting a need for consistency between individual, behavioural strategies and contextual elements. We discuss the implications of our findings for BoP practice and provide a framing perspective that we hope will encourage a greater focus on the complexity of entrepreneurship phenomenon.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
JournalEntrepreneurship & Regional Development
Volume30
Issue number1-2
Early online date23 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

Keywords

  • base of the pyramid (BoP)
  • challenging situations
  • disruptive events
  • entrepreneurial process
  • Entrepreneurship

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