From decades, the entrepreneurship and emerging markets research floods have converged. Emerging markets are now providing an opportunity to examine entrepreneurship in different contexts and forms, and the markets are often distinct from developed countries, particularly those in the West, by way of culture, economic development and political institutions.
Emerging market countries are invariably complex. On the one hand, they are starting later and often with fewer resources than more established industrial economies. On the other contrary, they often have unmet societal needs that can offer tremendous opportunities to the companies that position themselves properly. Often, those are the companies that have not yet been born.
Opportunities of Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets
The wealth of opportunities and problems to solve are an advantage, but generating innovative ideas that go beyond the criterion is not so easy. It can be hard to convince people that they can do something different and unique, but when you add the layer of scarce resources and limited ability to rebound for failure that brings about a caution that limits a venture ability to scale.
Entrepreneurs have to understand the context where they’re building, how to make things work on next to nothing for a long time, and that they have to become revenue positive as quickly as possible.
In some parts of the world where there are caste systems and religious and cultural barriers, there are often more barriers to entry for women to rise in corporations. Therefore, the choice to be an entrepreneur is easier; it is often one of the only options.
Entrepreneurship Fitting into the Economic Development Picture
There is a colossal opportunity to launch a business in any number of areas since nothing is yet entrenched. Where there are greater challenges, there are greater opportunities to innovate and come up with unique solutions and to address challenges that no one has even thought of.
Many governments, as well as multilateral organizations around the world, are recognizing that entrepreneurs are job creators and that there is a great thirst among the next generation of young people everywhere to drive their own future. More and more resources are being focused on this pent-up demand, and it is the other revolution called ‘The Entrepreneurship Revolution.’
Women Entrepreneurs Breaking Through Barriers
There has to be a system where people are allowed to have ideas and execute them. Women can see what the problem is but are they empowered to solve those problems for themselves and their families, or village or beyond their village? One of the really critical challenges that women face is the lack of access to traditional networks in education, training, financing as compared with what’s available to men. So women-owned businesses have found great opportunities within cooperative organizations where they buy and sell from each other.
They’ve recognized that while they are waiting for Walmart to discover what they already know, that their companies offer the highest quality or quickest turnaround. They are already operating in a successful network with other women. They know what they need from each other and present a potentially big market right there.
Every place has a unique cultural perspective that entrepreneurs can tap into and build on to bring something new. The beauty of being a woman in an emerging-market country is that they are starting to see huge macroeconomic reforms that not only make it easier for venture capitalists to come in but also for foreigners to come in and invest.
Often, there are incredible programs out there for entrepreneurship and incredible opportunities, but there is an information gap. That information is not marketed to the people who need it in order to apply for a contract or sell to a company. So no one gets the information, and opportunities pass. Governments have come to realize that they cannot possibly meet their economic needs that are providing enough government or industrial jobs for young people without promoting entrepreneurship and an entrepreneurial mindset. The experience of most of the entrepreneurs with the government is not positive then whether it’s taxes, regulatory barriers, licensing or processes that are esoteric and difficult. Minimizing or eliminating those barriers helps.
Often it will be in partnership with the private sector, by facilitating and incentivizing investors or banks. They can get involved directly by engaging small businesses through the procurement process. In almost every country, the single biggest procurement source is the government. So if the government commits to set aside part of that for small businesses, which will become a huge market.
Governments can add incentives like tax credits to increase investment. They can promote stability, IP rights, and price transparency. And they can focus on more efficient transportation that will help small businesses’ potential to grow. Countries that are eager to keep up their economic growth are very interested in having successful women in the workforce and in making sure that those women not only have the necessary education but are also getting the type of funding that’s going to allow them to start companies and scale them up.
The emerging markets are known for its manufacturing dexterity, and the service industry is expeditiously developing. The ethnic groups are an entrepreneurial source both in emerging markets and among emerging market entrepreneurs in host markets. Different conceptual lenses may explain ethnic entrepreneurship in emerging markets, including institutional and business group theories as well as the resource-based view, and so further our understanding of entrepreneurship in emerging markets. We are looking forward and hoping that the research on emerging markets and entrepreneurship will continue to develop.