Marketing and Entrepreneurship: Research Ideas and Opportunities

By Gerald E. Hills | Go to book overview

18
Entrepreneurship in LDCs: Perspectives and Experiences

William Lazer and David K. Hardin

The bulk of the research and literature on entrepreneurship pertains to well- developed capitalistic economies. The important role of entrepreneurs in fostering innovation and creativity, in providing jobs, and in unleashing individual initiatives and talents are highlighted. In the United States, entrepreneurship has been identified as the next stage in its capitalistic evolution, for the entrepreneurial era has begun ( Drucker 1985). By contrast, entrepreneurship's meaningful role in non-capitalistic environments, in socialistic or communistic societies, and especially in the lesser-developed countries (LDCs), has largely been neglected.

The entrepreneurial literature related to the LDCs is scarce indeed. It falls into three categories. First, the bulk of it is only peripherally related, pertaining mostly to other disciplines, such as developmental economics, political science, rural sociology and the like. It contains some relevant concept and general ideas, mostly in the nature of background information and perspectives. Second, it is information that has been gathered through research done by a variety of private sources, little of which has been published. It is believed to be in company, government, and association files, generally made available to a limited audience, such as association members. 1 These materials are more germane, they relate to smaller enterprises, but for the most part are still not directly focused on the topic of entrepreneurial ventures and activities in LDCs. Third are data, insights, and information that have been assembled, but not widely distributed by organizations sponsoring and working directly with entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial ventures in LDCs such as OPPORTUNITY International, Grameen Bank, ACCION, and AID. They are the most directly relevant, reflecting a growing body of experience gathered by concerned organizations and individuals and will comprise the core of this chapter.

In LDCs, entrepreneurship offers opportunities for relatively significant economic and social progress. Although no substantive body of pertinent

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