Entrepreneurship in Cities
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Entrepreneurship in Cities

Neighbourhoods, Households and Homes

Edited by Colin Mason, Darja Reuschke, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham

Entrepreneurship in Cities focuses on the neglected role of the home and the residential neighbourhood context for entrepreneurship and businesses within cities. The overall objective of the book is to develop a new interdisciplinary perspective that links entrepreneurship research with neighbourhood and urban studies. A key contribution is to show that entrepreneurship in cities is more than agglomeration economies and high-tech clusters. This is the first book to connect entrepreneurship with neighbourhoods and homes, recognising that business activity in the city is not confined to central business districts, high streets and industrial estates but is also found in residential neighbourhoods. It highlights the importance of home-based businesses for the economy of cities. These often overlooked types of businesses and workers significantly contribute to the ‘buzz’ that makes cities favourable places to live and work.
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Chapter 12: The mixed role of local communities in home-based economic activities in Caribbean cities

Hebe Verrest


This chapter focuses on home-based economic activities (HBEAs) in two Caribbean cities. These income-generating activities are financially, socially and spatially strongly integrated within the household. In the Global South they are, after paid work, the most often performed type of livelihood activity. HBEAs vary in terms of type of activity, the role they play in livelihoods, and how space, skills, labour and funds are used in their operation. The chapter addresses the relationship between HBEAs and the institutions and social relations functioning at the neighbourhood level. It asks how these neighbourhood relations are shaped by the role HBEAs play in household livelihoods and by their patterns of operation. Empirical findings show that for HBEAs neighbourhood relationships are extremely complex and provide HBEAs with huge benefits but also pose core constraints. Most HBEAs rely on the community for their market. Positive aspects for the operators are general support by community members and the familiarity with and short distance to the market. On the negative side, the neighbourhood as market is small and has limited purchasing power. Operators are forced to sell goods very cheaply, have to deal with huge competition and need to provide unreliable credit. They are limited in their ambition to grow because this will trigger negative reactions from neighbours. HBEAs that are informal and provide modest and supplementary incomes and have the community as a market are much more affected by neighbourhood relations than HBEAs that operate in a more formal manner.

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