Social Structure, Reasonable Gain and Entrepreneurship in Africa
George, G., Kotha, R., Parikh, P., Alnuaimi, T., Bahaj, A. 2016. Social structure, reasonable gain, and entrepreneurship in Africa, Strategic Management Journal, 2015 Forthcoming.
26 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2015
Date Written: February 28, 2015
In the context of desperate poverty, characterized by households at subsistence level that experience economic loss and social fracture, explanations for why individuals undertake entry into entrepreneurship are limited. We find that individuals rely on their social relationships to enable entrepreneurial activities that have the potential to create a reasonable income gain. In a sample of 1,049 households in rural Kenya, we test whether the disintegration of social structure attenuates entrepreneurial behavior. When coupled with factors such as income loss, gender of the household head, and access to communal resources, social structure plays a pivotal role in entrepreneurial action. We propose that search for reasonable income gain is a key driver of entrepreneurial action at subsistence levels, thereby adding to behavioral explanations of entrepreneurship.
Keywords: Africa, Poverty, Entrepreneurship, Natural Shocks, Kenya, Affordable Loss
JEL Classification: J24, I3, I31, I32, E24
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