Microentrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Synthesis Paper
Published on 11 February 2020


This paper reviews the recent literature in economics on small-scale entrepreneurship (“microentrepreneurship”) in low-income countries. Major themes in the literature include the determinants and consequences of joining the formal sector; the impacts of access to credit and other financial services; the impacts of business training; barriers to hiring; and the distinction between self-employment by necessity and self-employment as a calling. The paper devotes special attention to unique issues that arise with female entrepreneurship.


Seema Jayachandran

Northwestern University