Microfinance and micropreneurship in rural South-East Nigeria: an exploration of the effects of institutions

Irene Ukanwa, Lin Xiong, Jay Wasim, Laura Galloway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Informed by the work of Alistair Anderson on entrepreneurship as embedded in institutional contexts, this paper explores the experiences of 30 women micropreneurs in rural South-East Nigeria. These women are amongst the poorest people in the world and live in an environment marginalised from formal institutions, where informal ones are prioritised, and where culture and tradition reflect patriarchal limitations on their activities and experiences. We find that while microfinance is often cited as one of the key mitigators of institutional voids and an important support for entrepreneuring in deprived contexts, in fact there are critical barriers to uptake and socio-cultural conditions are found to limit the extent to which women trust and engage with microfinance. To that end, new methodologies that might mitigate perceived risks, including deepening poverty, are called for. Implicaitions for those who would support enterprise in poverty circumstances in developing nations include that to be effective they must engage with the socio-cultural institutions and lived realities amongst the people they seek to serve. Alongside this, further application and development of the approaches to studying entrepreneurship in marginalized environments that Alistair was such as central contributor to are advocated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Early online date11 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jun 2022

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