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Chapter 7: Values, Resource Endowment and Ethnic Entrepreneurship in Africa: The Case of Nande, Luba and Kumu in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda Introduction This chapter takes us to the former Belgian Congo, known for a period as Zaire, and now as the Democratic Republic of Congo. Its capital, formerly known as Leopoldville, is Kinshasha. Entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as essential to economic growth and social development (Leﬀ, 1979). From its Schumpeterian perspective, entrepreneurship is a combination of already existing endowments to produce something novel. The ability to carry out such a combination is available in any society at any time and place. Indeed, as stressed by Baumol (1993), societies are not static, with each new day identical to the ones that have preceded. One can therefore aﬃrm that entrepreneurial talents are universally distributed. But if this is true, why do some regions have more productive entrepreneurial activities than others? And why are some communities more entrepreneurial during some periods of time than at others? Responses provided by scholars to these questions are not simple. For Baumol (1993: 25), ‘how the entrepreneur acts at a given time and place depends heavily on the rules of the game’. Thus, depending on contexts, some entrepreneurs are productive while others may be unproductive and, even, destructive for their society. Therefore those who want to explain the higher entrepreneurial propensity of a given region or to improve the entrepreneurial propensity of a particular region must, in addition to exploring individual and cognitive aspects of entrepreneurship (Hayton, George and Zahra, 2002), explore the nature of the rules of the game that result in productive entrepreneurship...
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