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Microenterprise As An Exit Route From Poverty:* Recommendations For Programs And Policy Makers

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Author Info

  • Timothy Bates
  • Lisa Servon

Abstract

The objective of this study is to shed light on whether and how microenterprise programs can be used as an economic development strategy to enable low-income people to achieve self-sufficiency through self-employment. Our findings provide little support for the notion that hard work and a small loan are sufficient ingredients for business success. Viable small firms are usually headed by well-educated owners and/or those possessing specific skills that serve as a basis for successful business creation and operation. Potential entrepreneurs lacking assets, skills, and support networks are unlikely to support themselves through self-employment earnings alone. As a poverty alleviation strategy, microenterprise is not a panacea. Nevertheless, programs targeting the poor who do have skills, resources, and support networks can be useful vehicles for helping some to escape poverty.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1998/CES-WP-98-17.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 98-17.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:98-17

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Related research

Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

References

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  1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  2. Reynolds, Paul & Miller, Brenda, 1992. "New firm gestation: Conception, birth, and implications for research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 405-417, September.
  3. Lisa J. Servon, 1997. "Microenterprise Programs in U.S. Inner Cities: Economic Development or Social Welfare?," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 11(2), pages 166-180, May.
  4. Alfred R Nucci, 1992. "The Characteristics of Business Owners Database," Working Papers 92-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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Cited by:
  1. Jacob Benus & Sheena McConnell & Jeanne Bellotti & Theodore Shen & Kenneth Fortson & Daver Kahvecioglu, 2008. "Growing America Through Entrepreneurship: Findings from the Evaluation of Project GATE," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 6190, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Lofstrom, Magnus, 2009. "Low-Skilled Immigrant Entrepreneurship," IZA Discussion Papers 4560, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jeanne Bellotti & Sheena McConnell & Jacob Benus, 2006. "Growing America Through Entrepreneurship," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 5464, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Schreiner, Mark & Woller, Gary, 2003. "Microenterprise Development Programs in the United States and in the Developing World," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 1567-1580, September.
  5. Christy, Ralph D. & Wenner, Mark D. & Dassie, Wylin, 2000. "A Microenterprise-Centered Economic Development Strategy For The Rural South: Sustaining Growth With Economic Opportunity," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(02), August.
  6. Mark Schreiner, 2001. "Evaluation and Microenterprise Programs," Development and Comp Systems 0108002, EconWPA, revised 27 Dec 2001.

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