BREAD Working Paper No. 571, January 2020

Microentrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Seema Jayachandran


This article reviews the recent literature in economics on small-scale entrepreneurship ("microentrepreneurship") in low-income countries. Major themes in the literature include the determinants and consequences of joining the formal sector; the impacts of access to credit and other financial services; the impacts of business training; barriers to hiring; and the distinction between self-employment by necessity and self-employment as a calling. The article devotes special attention to unique issues that arise with female entrepreneurship.

Keywords: small businesses, female entrepreneurship, self-employment, informal sector

JEL classification codes: L26, J16, J24

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