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Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Kevin McKague

Although the concept of institutional entrepreneurship has been developed in the institutional theory literature to explain change in the normative context of…

Abstract

Purpose

Although the concept of institutional entrepreneurship has been developed in the institutional theory literature to explain change in the normative context of organizations, little attention has been given to understanding what institutional entrepreneurs actually do to create change. The purpose of this paper is to begin to address this gap in the literature by drawing on the process, challenges, successes and lessons learned when a large multilateral organization (the United Nations Development Program) launched a new international multi‐stakeholder initiative to facilitate inclusive business development.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study gathered qualitative data through key informant interviews, participant observation and a review of project documents and e‐mail correspondence.

Findings

Drawing on institutional theory and the literature on dynamic capabilities, the research found that highly institutionalized organizations acting as institutional entrepreneurs need to manage two key tensions – legitimacy management and change process management – in order to influence change in their institutional fields.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to combine institutional theory and the dynamic capabilities literatures to understand the question What capabilities are required by organizations to succeed in changing their institutional fields?

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Adam Camenzuli and Kevin McKague

Drawing on a qualitative study of youth microfranchising in the Tanzanian computer sales, service, and training sector, the purpose of this study is to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on a qualitative study of youth microfranchising in the Tanzanian computer sales, service, and training sector, the purpose of this study is to identify the challenges and advantages of a team-based approach to owning and operating a microfranchise business in the context of a least developed country. However, disadvantaged entrepreneurs typically still lack a critical mass of specialized technical skills and general managerial skills to manage a differentiated and competitive microenterprise business. A team-based approach to microfranchising can allow for combining specialized skills among more than one business owner; however, the potential risks and opportunities of team-microfranchising have not been studied. This study makes a contribution toward filling this gap by identifying five challenges and five advantages of team microfranchising which provide guidance for future research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data (interviews, observation and archival documents) were analyzed from an in-depth case study of youth microfranchising in the Tanzanian computer sales, service and training sector.

Findings

Results revealed that microfranchise businesses in sectors that require multiple complementary higher-level skills are suited to a team microfranchise approach. Findings suggest that the greater the limitations on franchisee skills and the more pronounced the lack of public goods and institutions, the greater the potential for team microfranchising to overcome the entrepreneurial capacity constraints and institutional voids in low-income market contexts. Further, team-based microfranchises may be able to compete more effectively in sectors where economies of scale are not a significant factor, such as service industries and small-scale niche manufacturing. Also identified are five potential challenges and five areas of opportunity for practitioners seeking to implement a team-microfranchise approach.

Research limitations/implications

The current study examined microfranchising among teams of youth in the Tanzanian computer sales and service sector. Further research could examine team microfranchising among other demographic groups in different sectors and the different regulatory, institutional and cultural contexts of other regions and countries.

Social implications

If developed effectively in the right contexts, the team-based approach to microfranchising can potentially double the job-creation impacts of microfranchising ventures.

Originality/value

This study is the first to assess the viability and boundary conditions of a team-based approach to microfranchising.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Courtenay Sprague and Stu Woolman

The purpose of this paper is to document the manner in which a pro‐poor company can deliver ongoing health benefits and improve environmental sustainability in a manner…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document the manner in which a pro‐poor company can deliver ongoing health benefits and improve environmental sustainability in a manner that addresses child and maternal mortality (in line with millennium development goals 4, 5 and 7).

Design/methodology/approach

Field research in Mozambique including 12 in‐depth interviews with key personnel from December 2006 to January 2007.

Findings

First, clear threats to the success of VidaGás' pro‐poor business model encompass insufficient liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supply and storage facilities; poor industrial and commercial infrastructure in Northern Mozambique; inadequate training of retailers in LPG use; and inadequate consumer knowledge of the benefits of LPG. Second, key innovations employed by VidaGás to overcome these obstacles consist of the introduction of a novel cold chain to safeguard medicines; a complex supply chain to ensure timely delivery; and the exploitation of local knowledge and expertise to expand the uptake of LPG by Mozambicans.

Practical implications

The case study focuses on a business problem with significant development implications. The challenge is to ensure a reliable supply of LPG in Northern Mozambique. To meet this challenge, VidaGás must achieve its stated goal of becoming a revenue‐generating entity within three years. In order to create a viable market for LPG, VidaGás must not only increase the uptake of LPG by poor consumers, it must expand LPG market access to commercial consumers, while raising additional capital.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on social entrepreneurship and demonstrates how to link for‐profit business imperatives with development goals.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2012

Kevin McKague and Sarah Tinsley

In Bangladesh, 30 percent of the population lives beyond the “last mile” of traditional distribution networks and serving this rural low‐income population with socially…

Abstract

Purpose

In Bangladesh, 30 percent of the population lives beyond the “last mile” of traditional distribution networks and serving this rural low‐income population with socially useful goods is a huge challenge. The purpose of this paper is to present one of the most innovative and successful cases of its kind in the world, a social enterprise rural distribution model originally developed by CARE Bangladesh and the Bata Shoe Company, to illustrate the possibility of combining market‐based solutions to poverty with socially responsible business growth.

Design/methodology/approach

This in‐depth case study was developed over the course of three field visits to Bangladesh between November 2009 and September 2010 based on 25 face‐to‐face interviews with rural sales women, Bata employees and CARE staff as well as participant observation and review of project documents and media reports.

Findings

The case provides insights into the origins, lessons learned and key success factors of viable rural sales agent distribution networks serving the poor. A key tension to be managed is keeping the costs of the network down while ensuring that every member is adequately incentivized.

Social implications

The 3,000 women sales agents in rural Bangladesh engaged with the Rural Sales Program have benefited from earning viable incomes in contexts where opportunities for employment and empowerment of women are limited. Rural populations have gained affordable access to socially beneficial goods such as fortified foods, seeds, daily necessities and shoes. Companies have benefited from learning how to adapt their product offerings to meet the needs of low‐income customers.

Originality/value

Where rural sales initiatives elsewhere have faced challenges, this case is the first published account of the origins of how CARE, Bata, and other companies established a viable and scalable rural sales agent distribution network for the commercial benefit of companies and the economic and social benefit of poor women and their customers.

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Pedro P. Franco Concha

The purpose of this paper is to describe Mibanco's challenges in offering credit to individuals who have never had access to the formal banking system in Peru. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe Mibanco's challenges in offering credit to individuals who have never had access to the formal banking system in Peru. The purpose of the case is to explain how Mibanco's innovative products and services have contributed to its success in enabling thousands of Peruvians to gain access to banking services. The paper also describes Mibanco's latest adaptations in response to growing competition to provide banking services to the lower income segments of the market.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study research methodology combines primary data from key informant interviews with Mibanco's CEO Rafael Llosa and other senior executives as well as academics and investment professionals familiar with Mibanco's operations. Secondary data were also collected from Mibanco's annual reports and other published sources.

Findings

The paper describes Mibanco's innovations in overcoming constraints in its operating environment. The case also documents the important role that Mibanco has played in transforming the Peruvian financial market through its pioneering development of financial products and services for the poor.

Originality/value

The paper describes Mibanco's role in influencing the Peruvian financial system as a whole and specifies the strategies that Mibanco's executive management has established to overcome the risks and challenges faced by the institution.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Alfred K. Tarway‐Twalla

The purpose of this paper is to determine the contribution of grassroots (mostly informal) businesses to post‐conflict, socio‐economic development in Liberia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the contribution of grassroots (mostly informal) businesses to post‐conflict, socio‐economic development in Liberia.

Design/methodology/approach

The research findings are based on quantitative data from a survey of 1,823 grassroots business owners from the central region of Liberia and qualitative data from 48 key informant interviews and 22 focus groups.

Findings

Grassroots businesses ensured access to goods and services in remote towns and villages, a key component of post‐conflict development. Although they were usually profitable and had high loan repayment rates, inadequate loan opportunities undercut their contributions to private sector growth and capacity development.

Originality/value

This research points to the contribution of grassroots businesses to post‐conflict social and private sector development, a relatively unexplored area of research in Liberia. The study reveals how grassroots businesses provide needed goods, services, and livelihoods in inaccessible parts of Liberia. This research can be used by government and non‐governmental organization to contribute to improve the economic situation for grassroots businesses in Liberia.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Tulus Tahi Hamonangan Tambunan

The Indonesian Government has taken many measures to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are expected to play a crucial role in…

Abstract

Purpose

The Indonesian Government has taken many measures to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are expected to play a crucial role in employment creation, gross domestic product growth, and non‐oil and gas export development. The purpose of this paper is to examine recent developments of SMEs in Indonesia. More specifically, it aims to address the following research questions: How important are SMEs in Indonesia? What are their main constraints? What is the impact of women entrepreneurs on SME development? and Can Indonesian SMEs be sources of innovation?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes data from Indonesia's National Agency of Statistics and reviews key literature and secondary data on Indonesian SMEs.

Findings

First, SMEs have been the main player in domestic economic activities as they account for more than 99.9 percent of all firms and employ 96.2 percent of the workforce. Second, key SME constraints include lack of finance and marketing difficulties. Third, representation of women entrepreneurs is still relatively low and can be attributed to low level of education and cultural/religious constraints. Finally, SME innovation capability is low for several key reasons.

Originality/value

The paper considers the involvement of women in SMEs in a Muslim‐majority country and contributes to the literature on the innovation capability of SMEs.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Loretta Serrano González

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and implications related to the integration of low‐income customers into the strategy of CEMEX, one of the world's…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges and implications related to the integration of low‐income customers into the strategy of CEMEX, one of the world's largest building materials companies.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study with data from interviews of a wide variety of stakeholders as well as observation and review of company documents.

Findings

Construmex was launched following CEMEX's experience with Patrimonio Hoy, a socially minded business targeted at low‐income families. Since its inception in 2001, Construmex helped more than 14,000 Mexican migrants in the USA improve, build or buy a house for themselves or their families in Mexico. Through a comprehensive value proposition, Construmex provided access to remote sales, micro‐credit and professional design and planning assistance.

Practical implications

Among early barriers was an initial overconfident approach from the company, as well as a low level of trust from potential clients. The program's success was possible through the establishment of key partnerships. By playing an intermediary role between migrants and their beneficiaries in Mexico, Construmex helped to increase the resource efficiency and effectiveness of housing investments. Migrants gained control of the destination of their money and saved time and resources. Among unsolved challenges was the need to reach a larger scale and financial sustainability. Opportunities to strengthen impacts were related to improved engagement of salespersons, local distributors and beneficiaries.

Originality/value

The case provides insights on how a low‐income market can be integrated to the business strategy of a large company resulting in the creation of social and business value.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Irene S. Egyir, E. Owusu‐Benoah, F.O. Anno‐Nyako and B. Banful

The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the key factors that influence the adoption of agrochemicals on plantain farms in Ghana.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the key factors that influence the adoption of agrochemicals on plantain farms in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs probit estimation using data from a stratified random sample of 249 farmers in four districts in Ghana.

Findings

The results show that adoption of agrochemicals is positively associated with: being literate, older than 40 years of age, having higher income from sales, living in villages distant to Accra (capital of Ghana), having access to hi‐tech machinery, being migrant, and being linked to extension services and financial institutions. Contrary to expectation, a farmer's gender and association with farmer‐based organizations (FBO) and non‐governmental organizations (NGO) did not make a difference.

Practical implications

The results suggest that there are no exclusions to innovation systems such as agrochemical adoption based on gender or living in rural areas; women are just as technologically empowered as men, while rural farmers have an option to retain their indigenous management practices or adopt new and improved practices such as using agrochemicals. Major efforts to improve access to agrochemical adoption lie with government extension officers, as the functions of FBO and NGO have yet to make a significant difference. More needs to be done to bring young, illiterate, low income and indigene farmers into inclusive plantain science techniques and applications in Ghana.

Originality/value

The paper reveals how vulnerable groups such as rural populations and women plantain farmers are being included in systems that support agrochemical adoption.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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