Household Enterprises in Mozambique: Key to Poverty Reduction But Not on the Development Agenda?
34 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2013
Household enterprises -- usually one-person-operated tiny informal enterprises -- are a rapidly growing source of employment in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in lower-income countries. Household enterprises tend to operate with limited interest or support from governments. This is the case in Mozambique, where neither the poverty reduction strategy nor small and medium enterprise development policies include household enterprises. Using multiple household surveys, including a recent panel data set, this paper identifies the characteristics of the sector and its development during the period in which Mozambique experienced rapid economic growth. The analysis finds that household enterprises in Mozambique are associated with higher household consumption, lower rural poverty, as well as upward mobility, particularly for rural and poorly educated households. But if the Mozambican government wants to tap this potential, it will need a different strategy than one designed to support small and medium enterprises, because creation and survival in this sector seems to depend on a set of factors related to the human capital in the household and development in the location, not the soft business environment constraints, such as licensing and permitting and corruption, which are cited by larger business.
Keywords: Access to Finance, Rural Poverty Reduction, Housing & Human Habitats, Regional Economic Development
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