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This book focuses on the role of subsistence entrepreneurs in creating social and sustainable business opportunities on the global marketplace. Subsistence entrepreneurs use scarce resources to create new business opportunities, often in developing or emerging economies. In addition, subsistence entrepreneurship is increasingly being used as a way to facilitate market entry for small and medium-sized business enterprises that focus on collaborative innovation. The interdisciplinary contributions gathered here will expand readers’ understanding of the nature and characteristics of subsistence entrepreneurs, as well as the challenges they face. The central connection between subsistence, sustainability and social entrepreneurship is also explored.



Subsistence Entrepreneurship: The Role of Collaborative Innovation, Sustainability and Social Goals

The goal of this chapter is to discuss the role of subsistence entrepreneurship in the society. Increasingly both business and government are focusing at low-income consumers and the role they play in the innovation process. This has meant greater emphasis has been given to understand the role of these consumers who are called ‘subsistence consumers’ because they live at the bottom of the pyramid and exist on low income and wages. This chapter discusses subsistence consumers in terms of how they can be innovative and also the importance that collaboration plays in achieving social goals. Managerial and social implications are discussed in terms of how business can harness the collective power of subsistence entrepreneurs in order to create a better global community.
Vanessa Ratten, Paul Jones, Vitor Braga, Carla Susana Marques

Firm Founders’ Passivity as a Source of Serendipitous Opportunity Discovery

This chapter focuses on understanding how subsistence entrepreneurs utilise chance discoveries in their marketplace. A case study method is utilised to understand the process of serendipitous opportunity discovery in terms of obtaining market advantages. Case studies from Finland and Denmark are utilised to analyse the subsistence entrepreneurship process from a transformational perspective. The results indicate that some passivity can generate a serendipitous opportunity discovery. Suggestions for future research are stated that highlight the link between the transformational and subsistence entrepreneurship literature.
Antti Kauppinen

Commonomics: Rhetoric and Reality of the African Growth Tragedy

This exploratory study addresses the question of a feasible complementary economic model for the teeming population in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) that lives at the subsistence level. The study rationalized the contention that SSA is in a development straitjacket and its much-touted economic rise is more rhetoric than reality. Postmodern Keynesian economics has failed in most of SSA; therefore, an economic paradigm shift is advocated toward “commonomics.” The study draws upon documentary evidence to posit that SSA’s rise is trumpeted by international organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and SSA governments for various “self-serving” reasons adduced in the study. Despite this purported rise, in 2018, 17 of the world’s 20 least competitive economies are in SSA; the middle class is rapidly disappearing; corruption has become a means of livelihood across all socioeconomic classes; and the youth are fleeing their countries, as exemplified by the treacherous transatlantic crossings into Europe. In SSA’s quandary, Africans who are nostalgic about the “good old days” opine that, until the postcolonial era, SSA’s resource base enabled people to meet their basic needs cost-effectively and sustainably and that the consumerism and greed that typify the postmodern era of Keynesian economics were nonissues in traditional SSA contexts. In these societies, commonomics, the term used for the model prescribed in this study, was the economic ideology and model. Commonomics aims to meet people’s basic needs through collaborative grassroots initiatives, where the inputs and outputs of production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services are initiated, governed, managed, and sustained by grassroots citizens. Guidelines for implementing commonomics are outlined in the study.
Jerry Kolo, Nnamdi O. Madichie, Chris H. Mbah

Entrepreneurship in the Solidarity Economy: A Valuation of Models Based on the Quadruple Helix and Civil Society

From its pre-Columbian origins, the implementation of the Solidarity Economy has been growing during these last decades in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and accelerated the process as it has been developing in the continent of the denominated “New Economy.” This work is a theoretical article with the objective of analyzing the two modern ways of implementing the Solidarity Economy: through the creation of quadruple helix models based on solidarity (Mexico) or through the practical application of McClelland’s N-effect using civil society from virtuous circles of community economic drivers (Puerto Rico). Because of this implementation process, the Solidarity Economy has ceased from being a guild and welfare, to become an economic and financial alternative for economically disadvantaged sectors based on shared values and a shared project. These analyses are complemented by a SWOT analysis and by the theoretical study of the direct relationship between the Solidarity Economy and the combination of social entrepreneurship and transformational entrepreneurship to create, in a novel way, virtuous circles of economic growth. The article concludes with ideas that briefly emphasize the importance of applying open cooperativism in the fight against inequality and poverty.
José Manuel Saiz-Álvarez, Jesús Manuel Palma-Ruiz

Evaluating the Business Model of a Work Integration Social Enterprise in Cantabria

The uprising of new business models within the sphere of social economy has led to the appearance of the term hybrid organizations, which pursue a social mission and sustain their operations through commercial activities. In this sense, those organizations compete not only on the quality of products or services but also on the capacity to have a social and/or environmental impact. Work integration social enterprises (WISEs) represent hybrid organizations, since they are a type of social companies dedicated to help people at risk of social exclusion to join the ordinary labour market, in addition to its commercial activity. The objective of this contribution is twofold. First, it reflects the evolution and comparison of business model representations through canvases facing the appearance of new types of hybrid organizations. Second, the analysis of the business model of a WISE in Cantabria is proposed. The use of different business model representations shows how the visibility of the WISE’s information is modulated depending on the type of canvas used, so that not all of them are suitable to reflect the two purposes (social and economic) in hybrid companies.
Elisa Baraibar-Diez, María D. Odriozola, Ignacio Llorente, José Luis Fernández Sánchez

Encouraging Indigenous Self-Employment in Franchising

Although originally touted as a business mechanism to encourage self-employment for minorities, franchising has not lived up to initial expectations. While minority ownership in franchising in the USA has shown considerable growth over the last two decades, this has not been the case for Indigenous Australians. Indigenous business ownership in franchising remains low, even though a majority of franchisors are willing to recruit Indigenous employees and franchisees. This chapter aims to open a dialogue on the relative merits of utilising a transitional self-employment pathway for Indigenous Australians through franchising. We argue that such a hybridised approach may ameliorate systemic disadvantages that many Indigenous Australians face when considering entering small business. Data was gathered from a series of interviews with Indigenous business owners, franchise (third-party) advisors, Indigenous government agency representatives, franchisors and franchising educators. Our results highlight the pressing need to better address areas of disadvantage that have been raised in prior Indigenous Entrepreneurship and small business studies. Overall, our GROWTH-pathway approach and recommended courses of action, answer calls to encourage private sector involvement in Indigenous employment, so as to repair economic and social damage caused by the introduction of a Western enterprising culture.
Scott Weaven, Lorelle Frazer, Mark Brimble, Kerry Bodle, Maurice Roussety, Park Thaichon

Shadow Economy Index for Moldova and Romania

This report presents estimates of the size of the shadow economy in Moldova and Romania during the years 2015–2016. The estimates are based on surveys of entrepreneurs in both countries, following the method of Putniņš and Sauka (Journal of Comparative Economics 43:471–490, 2015). The components of the shadow economy captured by this approach include misreported business income, unregistered or hidden employees, and ‘envelope’ wages. Our findings suggest that both Moldova and Romania exhibit high levels of bribery, which is influenced by the number of unregistered companies. The results of this chapter highlight the importance of focusing on different forms of entrepreneurship particularly in transition economies.
Talis J. Putnins, Arnis Sauka, Adriana Ana Maria Davidescu

Survivability and Sustainability of Traditional Industry in the Twenty-First Century: A Case of Indonesian Traditional Furniture SME in Jepara

Traditional industry is important and it has been existence as a source of employment and as a way of poverty reduction, particularly for people in rural developing country. This study presents an interesting case of a Indonesian rural Central Java traditional furniture making industry which is able to survive based on their orientation towards sustainability. Traditional furniture making Jepara in this study is able to survive the challenge of limited timber material sources and other constraints, except with practices to survive that consider to indicate sustainability issues. A livelihood theoretical framework is applied to analyze this traditional industry survivability case study. The finding of this study presents two significant factors behind the survivability, which is cultural reasons and the otherwise is no options.
Danu Patria, Petrus A. Usmanij, Vanessa Ratten

The Minimum Wage Fuels Romania’s Shadow Economy?

The recent increases in the minimum wage in Romania represent a popular topic at the national level, which indicated that aggressive increases in the minimum wage could create a competitiveness problem in the context of a relatively high level of informal economic activities. The main objective of this chapter is to measure the effects of the minimum wage on Romanian informal activities based on the sharp increases in the minimum wage observed in the recent periods and the new increase planned by the government in the future using quarterly data for the period 2000–2015. The size of the SE was estimated using the MIMIC model, and the empirical results reveal that unemployment, self-employment, indirect taxation and lack of trust in government can be considered causes of Romanian informality. The empirical results indicate that an increase in the minimum wage can be considered a longterm supporting factor for the shadow economy because it increases informal economic activities, as firms will seek alternative methods of circumventing authorities.
Adriana Ana Maria Davidescu, Friedrich Schneider

Gamifying Innovation and Innovating Through Gamification

Gamification is a new and rapidly growing trend impacting a wide range of areas, such as education, marketing, personal development and others. It can be an innovative output when applied to these fields. We can also see early examples of gamification being used to spark innovation activities in an organisation—i.e. be part of the process of innovating. The impact of gamification on the area of innovation is multidimensional, and this chapter explores the variety of ways for synergy of gamification and innovation: as an aspect of innovation, as an outcome or as a facilitation of ideas, creation and selection. This synergy might help the companies bridge different sectors with the help of gamification embodied in the product or service, as well as lead to further value-added outcomes, such as improved knowledge sharing and improved cross-sector collaboration.
Agnessa Shpakova, Viktor Dörfler, Jill MacBryde

Work Hard, Play Hard: Work-Life Balance in Small Business

This chapter concerns work-life balance in small business models and compares work-life balance situations for both the owners of franchised and independently owned non-franchised small businesses. It provides a framework to assist and empower individuals to take control of their own outcomes, whilst managing the multiplicity of roles that constitute work and life. The research project follows a qualitative research method in the realist paradigm using case studies. It comprises a variety of data sources such as in-depth interviews, personally administered questionnaires, and interviewer observations. The concept of work-life balance has different meanings for many different people. Generally, most individuals in small business reconcile competing work and life demands on an ad hoc basis. This research is unique. It is the first empirical analysis conducted in Australia that compares the work-life balance of franchised and independent small business owners.
Robyn Young, Lorelle Frazer, Scott Weaven, Maurice Roussety, Park Thaichon

Stay Ahead of a Game or Stay Still: The Impact of Learning and Development on Business Performance

The focus of this chapter is in investigating solutions to known problems associated with poor levels of participation and engagement in franchisor-initiated learning and development activities that have impacted franchise system performance. Learning and development research in the franchising sector has been lacking; however, this chapter extends research conducted in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) context on barriers to participation and engagement with training. We used a qualitative case study approach, targeting 60 players across four franchise groups, and present an integrative framework of knowledge transfer in franchising relationships, providing actionable insights to the franchising sector and human resources fields.
Janette Timms, Lorelle Frazer, Scott Weaven, Park Thaichon
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