Entrepreneurship has most often been studied in the context of western developed economies and results extrapolated to apply universally. In this article, we illustrate that western models of business and entrepreneurship may be limited in terms of informing us about the experiences in other contexts. The empirical work reported in the article comprises a small qualitative study of arts and crafts informal entrepreneurship in rural Zimbabwe. It identifies drivers, experiences and outcomes of entrepreneurship that are explained by the unique structural and socio-cultural context, and the value ascribed to business refers both to financial income and the dissemination of culture and heritage. Evidence of specific sub-Saharan modes of conducting business, reflecting the collectivity, reciprocity and strong ethnic identity characteristics of sub-Saharan African societies also emerges. We argue that research on entrepreneurship, and any policy on it in sub-Saharan Africa, takes cognizance of the non-western context and the potential for unique contextual business orientation and outcomes.
- creative industries
- developing economy