Towards a repeatable model for fighting poverty at the community level.

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Perustieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
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Master’s Degree Programme in International Design Business Management (IDBM)
In recent years, entrepreneurship has been presented as one of many potential weapons in the fight against poverty - capable of acting as a vehicle for individuals and communities to create a long-lasting solution to their situation. However, the conditions of poor communities around the globe exhibit a heterogeneity that make it difficult to create repeatable solutions that might work across multiple sites. This thesis looks at previous research on the relationship between poverty and entrepreneurship; and uses qualitative data at the case-level in order to identify common themes among communities that leverage entrepreneurship in some form to eradicate poverty. It then utilises interpretive phenomenological analysis to better comprehend organic barriers to new-business creation among the poor in specific regions of Indonesia and Colombia - with a view to highlight endogenous innovations that may bring expedited value to other communities wishing to combat poverty. The result is an account of potentially repeatable components of an ecosystem; as seen through the optic of contemporary entrepreneurship literature - ready to be tested, adapted and built upon by new communities or researchers attempting to create an entrepreneurship ecosystem to fight poverty from the bottom up. The components will be further explained during the final sections of the thesis, and they include: 1. A distinctive degree of poverty based on access to basic infrastructure and the local environment 2. General patterns of behaviour by endogenous and endogenous actors, according to extent of poverty present. These include incubation, fostering and enabling entrepreneurial activity 3. Distinctive roles played by endogenous and exogenous actors - split between leaders and feeders 4. Clear and overt influence upon local business activity by the local environment and social norms, or culture 5. A participative and cross-disciplinary effort that targets different aspects of the poverty cycle, while relying on empowerment of the beneficiaries 6. Innovative traits and strategic action displayed by actors in their utilisation of resources at their disposal 7. Moderate risk-taking and exploration of an array of channels as revenue streams for sustainable business activity
Vartiainen, Matti
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Named, None
poverty eradication, entrepreneurship, ecosystem innovation, poverty reduction, bottom of the pyramid, social entrepreneurship
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