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SME Perspective

Future research directions for collective entrepreneurship in developing countries

Vanessa Ratten

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014, Vol.22, No2


1 Introduction

Little research exists about entrepreneurship in developing countries because of the focus on developed countries (Dana, 2004). In developing countries, it is often assumed that there is a lack of entrepreneurial culture and entrepreneurship spirit (Ghanem, 2013). This assumption leads to people thinking that the lack of entrepreneurial activities is because of the political and social environmental (Morris et al., 1996). Whilst this may be the case in some developing countries, entrepreneurship can be measured in other ways including having a social conscience and valuing inspirational business leadership (Falck et al.,2012).

Entrepreneurship is important in developing countries as it helps a country to grow economically and stimulate entrepreneurial activity (Parker, 2009). Part of this stimulation is included in the number of people engaged in or planning to start their own business (Douglas and Shepherd, 2002). New business development is linked to how individuals make decisions and engage in business opportunities as part of their entrepreneurial progress. In some developing countries, governments can directly or indirectly enhance and inhibit individuals engaging in entrepreneurial activity by influencing the business environment (Dana, 1993). This government influence is an important determinant of whether country will transition from developing to developed country status.

Entrepreneurial activity involves the creation and utilisation of positive opportunities (Naude et al., 2011). Most entrepreneurs recognise opportunity by being innovative or devising new combinations of products, services or processes (Dana, 1993). In developing countries, it is important to understand how the long term sustainability of a country is derived from the ability to be entrepreneurial and continually innovate in order to stay globally competitive.

The aim of this paper is to highlight the need for more research on entrepreneurship in developing countries. In order to do this, the literature on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries is reviewed that leads to a discussion of the importance of collaborative entrepreneurship in emerging economies.

Strengths and Weaknesses of SMEs

A number of suggestions for future research in the developing world context are stated including the importance of innovation and creativity for business success.

The next section will further discuss how entrepreneurship occurs in developing countries by focusing on SMEs.






Roles and Attributes

6+6 Engines of an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurial Success 360 

ICT-powered Entrepreneur

Internet Entrepreneur

Solo Entrepreneur    Solo Interpreneur

Entrepreneurial Creativity

Entrepreneurial Success

Starting a Business: Step-by-Step Guide

10 Rules for Building a Great Business

Success Stories

e-Coach for Asia and the Pacific


Strengths and Weaknesses

Modern SMEs

ICT-powered SMEs

SMEs in Asia and the Pacific

e-Coach for Asia and the Pacific


Introduction    SMEs: Role and Challenges    Fostering Collaborative Entrepreneurship    Conclusions