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Research on portfolio entrepreneurship in Uganda reveals that entrepreneurs commonly grow from small beginnings by establishing a succession of businesses, each new one at an improved scale and sophistication. This chapter conceptualises this process using the analogy of an entrepreneurial career ladder. Five levels of business are distinguished, each with its own specific skills and resource requirements. The early businesses are rich in cash, have good levels of profit, but volumes of sales are low. This profitability allows capital accumulation that eventually leads to consolidation through small-scale property investments. The property provides collateral to launch small-scale formal businesses such as shops or restaurants. In these larger businesses, margins are lower, but there are higher volumes of sales. Eventually a succession of formal businesses can lead to investments in larger properties and, in the most successful cases, progression into large-scale manufacturing or agriculture.
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- Entrepreneurial Growth Through Portfolio Entrepreneurship: The Entrepreneurial Career Ladder
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