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Edited by Léo-Paul Dana and Robert B. Anderson
Chapter 5: An Overview of African Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research
5 An overview of African entrepreneurship and small business research Wim A. Naudé and J.J.D. Havenga 1 Introduction Given the potential importance of self-employment for African economic development, the present chapter provides an overview of the current state of entrepreneurship research in Africa. This is based on the compilation of a bibliography of African entrepreneurship research. To our best knowledge this is the ﬁrst time that such a bibliography has been attempted for Africa. We analyze the frequency and topics of research outputs since 1963 and provide an overview of the main themes and topics in African entrepreneurship research. It is shown that, in Africa, government has an impact on entrepreneurship both directly (through, for instance, taxation and education and training policies as well as privatization) and indirectly (through, for instance, contributing to an uncertain policy environment, damaging social capital and creating institutional features that keep African ﬁrms small). The smallness of African ﬁrms, and the role of social network capital in overcoming the negative features limiting African ﬁrm growth and survival, are important topics for future research on African entrepreneurship. Africa is the poorest region in the world and the only major developing region with negative growth in income per capita over the past two decades (Sachs et al., 2004:117). Can entrepreneurship make a diﬀerence to economic growth and development in Africa? Answering this question would require rigorous research into African entrepreneurship. However, compared to research on entrepreneurship elsewhere in the world, and the extensive scientiﬁc...
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