Entrepreneurial Response to "Bottom Up" Development Strategies in Zimbabwe
The Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 18, No.1, pp. 5-28, 2005
24 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2008
Group lending and business training programs aimed at small-scale entrepreneurs have captured the interest of development scholars, practitioners, and donors since the 1980s. Yet these strategies have not had much impact in the context of urban Zimbabwe. Building upon ethnographic research conducted in Harare, Zimbabwe and insights drawn from the Austrian school of economics, the case is made that group lending and business training programs in urban Zimbabwe fail to meet the needs of most informal entrepreneurs because they offer a poor cultural fit with the target population, and because they are rarely able to cultivate entrepreneurial skills such as innovation and market discovery among their clients.
Keywords: Austrian economics, entrepreneurship, microfinance, group lending, informal sector
JEL Classification: B53, O17, O18, Z13.
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