Barriers to the Development and Progress of Entrepreneurship in Rural Pakistan

Nabeel Muhammad, Gerard McElwee, Leo-Paul Dana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Focussing on entrepreneurs’ experiences inhibiting them from launching a business – at the micro level – the purpose of this paper is to identify issues that limit rural entrepreneurship in Pakistan and also, to identify the cultural, social, economic and religious traditions and settings that discourage entrepreneurship thus hindering economic development.
Design/methodology/approach: An ethnographic approach was used to obtain a picture of current problems and perspectives of rural inhabitants. Members of 84 families were interviewed.
Findings: Religious, socioeconomic and structural forces play a significant role in suppressing social and cultural capital in rural areas of Pakistan, explaining the low level of entrepreneurship in these areas. Social and cultural capital requires a certain socioeconomic context for entrepreneurship to thrive.
Originality/value: This study examines the determinants of very low levels of entrepreneurship in rural settings in the agro-based regions of interior Sindh, Pakistan; this contributes to the gap of understanding the context of rural entrepreneurs in agro-based economies. This study makes recommendations for policy makers to promote entrepreneurship in such areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-295
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number2
Early online date1 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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