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Entrepreneurial Response to “Bottom-up” Development Strategies in Zimbabwe

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  • Emily Chamlee-Wright

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Abstract

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. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11138-005-5591-5
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Review of Austrian Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 5-28

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Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:18:y:2005:i:1:p:5-28

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100335

Related research

Keywords: Austrian economics; entrepreneurship; microfinance; group lending; informal sector;

References

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  1. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  2. Chamlee-Wright, Emily, 2002. "Savings and Accumulation Strategies of Urban Market Women in Harare, Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 979-1005, July.
  3. Besley, Timothy & Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Group lending, repayment incentives and social collateral," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 1-18, February.
  4. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
  5. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  6. Berger, Marguerite, 1989. "Giving women credit: The strengths and limitations of credit as a tool for alleviating poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 1017-1032, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Virgil Storr, 2011. "On the hermeneutics debate: An introduction to a symposium on Don Lavoie's “The Interpretive Dimension of Economics—Science, Hermeneutics, and Praxeology”," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 85-89, June.
  2. Emily Chamlee-Wright, 2010. "Qualitative methods and the pursuit of economic understanding," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 321-331, December.
  3. Emily Chamlee-Wright & Justus Myers, 2008. "Discovery and social learning in non-priced environments: An Austrian view of social network theory," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 151-166, September.

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