Indigenous Development and the Cultural Captivity of Entrepreneurship
36 Pages Posted: 21 May 2010
Date Written: May 15, 2009
We use a critical discussion of contributions by Karl Polanyi and Robert Heilbroner to argue that thinking about entrepreneurship as a potential instrument of relief from endemic poverty and disadvantage, especially amongst the indigenous, has all too often been captive to a concept of entrepreneurship that is built out of constrained economic and cultural assumptions. The result is that approaches to venture have been encouraged that are sometimes a poor fit for the circumstances of those they are meant to benefit, and other forms that could have considerable promise have gone unexplored. We outline some features of indigenous culture, and build upon the analysis of David Harper to construct of notion of entrepreneurship that allows for these distinctive features. We conclude that research, and policy-making, concerning entrepreneurship as an instrument of development among the indigenous need to be undertaken with a re-constructed understanding of entrepreneurship that is a better fit for the realities of indigenous culture.
Keywords: Indigenous entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, business and culture, embeddedness
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation