Table of Contents

Contemporary Microenterprise

Contemporary Microenterprise

Concepts and Cases

Edited by Joseph Mark S. Munoz

While there have been numerous books and articles written on the popular topic of ‘microfinance’, few books have been written on the business model behind it: the ‘microenterprise’. Due to its diversity of thought and high quality of chapter contributions, this book is poised to be the book on ‘microenterprises’. Contemporary Microenterprise is a collage of the latest research and viewpoints on the subject by recognized academics and experts from around the globe.


Leo-Paul Dana

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, international business, development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics


Leo-Paul Dana Since I was a child I have been fascinated by microenterprise and it was with delight that I accepted the invitation to write the Foreword to this book. In Alaska, somebody pans for gold (Dana, 1995 [2002]). Meanwhile, in Cuba, an old man walks around with one tube of toothpaste. What do these two individuals have in common? In Cuba, elderly individuals with few teeth nevertheless receive a ration booklet, with which it is possible to purchase toothpaste; this toothpaste can be sold at a profit, on the black market, to others who can afford such a luxury (Dana, 1996d). In fact, the fellow in Alaska and the other in Cuba are both operating microenterprises. Although the small business owner tends to be viewed by Western researchers as the owner of a formal firm (Dana, 1996b), many are microenterprises operating quite informally. While each one may have little turnover, the combined volume of business conducted by microenterprises is important. And examples are many. In Albania, a vendor’s inventory totals eight bananas (Dana, 1996a). In Bolivia, as I wrote in Dana and Anderson (2007): centrally located, at Plaza San Francisco, is a centre for informal enterprise. Women squeeze fresh oranges, selling juice. Elderly men sell telephone tokens. Others have scales on which people can weigh themselves for a nominal fee. Numerous children push their way through the crowd looking for prospective clients with shoes to shine; a shoeshine costs little for natives and considerably more for white people. At...