Collective entrepreneurship and economic development in MALAWI: A case study of Blantyre City

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is one of the corner stones of poverty alleviation as it is a tool for economic growth. As Malawi’s SME sector comprising entrepreneurs is facing challenges such as lack of access to finance, and high business operating costs, collective entrepreneurship has been found to be a possible solution. Collective entrepreneurship occurs when individual’s resources and skills are incorporated into a group so that the innovation process and accessing marketing resources is made easier compared to individual effort. The collective ability of individuals and organisations is important in developing countries as it enables the use of the community as a means of targeting business opportunities and hence promoting growth of the economy. This study’s purpose was to assess the potential of collective entrepreneurship in enhancing economic development in Malawi. Specifically, the study aimed to investigate the youths’ attitudes towards collective entrepreneurship, examine the potential of collective entrepreneurship to empower the youth economically, explore ways of engaging the youth in collective entrepreneurship programmes and identify strategies that could be used to promote economic development by the youth through collective entrepreneurship. The study focused on the youth to increase their empowerment economically, as this element was previously not critically examined. Furthermore, this study was based on the fact that not much research has been conducted in Malawi to guide an entrepreneurship development strategy. The study’s participants were from Blantyre City townships. A survey method was adopted, targeting a population of 90 respondents. Data was collected using 40 questionnaires, 17 in-depth interviews and two focus group discussions. Data was analysed using software packages such as Rev, Microsoft Excel and SPSS. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the youth are ready to participate in collective entrepreneurship ventures as they can potentially empower them economically. The study found ways of engaging the youth in collective entrepreneurship programmes, which included financial institutions such as banks providing timely tailored financing options and engaging responsively with youth. The study identified strategies that could be used to promote economic development by means of collective entrepreneurship including universities supporting young entrepreneurs through courses on collective vii entrepreneurship, and the hosting of incubator and accelerator programmes. The study made several recommendations which among them was targeting the youth in the formation of collective entrepreneurship programmes, developing policies that embrace key success factors for collective entrepreneurship and promoting entities that can foster collective entrepreneurship.Thesis (MA) -- Faculty of Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, 202

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This paper was published in Nelson Mandela University.

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