• Entrepreneurial opportunities and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa: A review & agenda for the future

      Vermeire, Jacob; Bruton, Gary (Africa Journal of Management, 2016)
      Entrepreneurship, with its focus on opportunities, is often seen as one of the cornerstones of poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, evidence for the positive impact of entrepreneurship programs on poverty is mixed and now widely debated. Therefore, scholars have called for a better theoretical understanding of opportunities in SSA in the face of severe resource constraints that characterize the region. In this paper, we aim to shed further light on this issue and outline an agenda for future research. To this end, we first review the current literature on opportunities (discovered and created) and poverty (income-based and capabilities-based). We next employ four case examples of poor entrepreneurs in SSA that challenge assumptions from Western entrepreneurship theories and illustrate what could be fruitful avenues for future research on entrepreneurial opportunities and poverty in SSA.
    • Global value chains in Africa and development of opportunities by poor landholders

      Vermeire, Jacob; Bruton, Gary; Li, Cai (Review of Social Economy, 2017)
      In an effort to help address severe levels of poverty, multinational firms are increasingly seeking to include African smallholders in their global value chains (GVCs). Despite efforts of multinationals to provide such opportunities, the number of successful inclusions remains limited. We draw from the entrepreneurship domain to approach this important issue from an opportunity perspective. At the heart of our effort to develop a greater theoretical understanding is the insight that opportunities can both be discovered and created by smallholders. The key implication of this insight is that multinationals will gain more from their efforts to include small landholders in their GVCs if they adapt their value chain systems in ways that also accommodate joint creation of opportunities with smallholders rather than expect that all smallholders adapt to the systems developed by the large global firms for their large suppliers.
    • Institutional influences on the worldwide expansion of venture capital

      Bruton, Gary; Fried, Vance H.; Manigart, Sophie (Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 2005)