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Barriers to the development and progress of entrepreneurship in rural Pakistan

Nabeel Muhammad (Business School, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary) (Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan)
Gerard McElwee (Business School, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)
Leo-Paul Dana (Montpellier Business School, Montpellier, France)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 13 March 2017




Focussing on entrepreneurs’ experiences inhibiting them from launching a business – at the micro level – the purpose of this paper is to identify issues that limit rural entrepreneurship in Pakistan and also, to identify the cultural, social, economic and religious traditions and settings that discourage entrepreneurship thus hindering economic development


An ethnographic approach was used to obtain a picture of current problems and perspectives of rural inhabitants. Members of 84 families were interviewed.


Religious, socioeconomic and structural forces play a significant role in suppressing social and cultural capital in rural areas of Pakistan, explaining the low level of entrepreneurship in these areas. Social and cultural capital requires a certain socioeconomic context for entrepreneurship to thrive.


This study examines the determinants of very low levels of entrepreneurship in rural settings in the agro-based regions of interior Sindh, Pakistan; this contributes to the gap of understanding the context of rural entrepreneurs in agro-based economies. This study makes recommendations for policy makers to promote entrepreneurship in such areas.



The authors would like to thank all the families who shared their lives with them; and the authors give special thanks to the local guides who helped the authors to reach out the families and collect data.


Muhammad, N., McElwee, G. and Dana, L.-P. (2017), "Barriers to the development and progress of entrepreneurship in rural Pakistan", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 279-295.



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