Necessity Entrepreneurs

Necessity Entrepreneurs

Microenterprise Education and Economic Development

Edited by Jeremi Brewer and Stephen W. Gibson

Necessity entrepreneurs, in developing countries, are individuals who start small enterprises out of necessity. While they range from street sellers to educated hopefuls with little access to formal employment, the one thing that unites them is the need to survive. This volume is the first-known compilation of theories contributed by international scholars who have worked together to establish a theory-based discourse on necessity entrepreneurship, micro-enterprise education, and long-term economic development.

Chapter 8: The role of family capital in necessity entrepreneurship

W. Gibb Dyer

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, family business, development studies, social entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurship is the economic engine fueling the economies of many countries throughout the world. Some entrepreneurs start their ventures with significant experience and expertise along with the ability to identify business opportunities. Others have access to labor and capital through formal networks and thus are able to acquire the resources needed to start a business. On the other hand, other individuals start businesses out of necessity - they lose a job, a family member who was providing income becomes sick, or their nation's economy cannot provide enough employment opportunities for all its citizens. In these cases, out of necessity, these individuals launch a new business - often with just themselves as the only employee. These 'necessity entrepreneurs' often have greater difficultly gaining access to the resources they need as compared with those more experienced entrepreneurs who have established resource networks. However, most necessity entrepreneurs can access one form of capital that can help them succeed - family capital. 'Family capital' is the human, social, and financial resources that are available to individuals or groups as a result of family affiliation (Danes, Stafford, Haynes and Amarapurkar, 2009).

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