A study of the collectivist model of entrepreneurship in the Global South: The case of the Ecuadorian Coast

Poverty and limited state support, combined with the collectivism of societies in the Global South, have led necessity-driven entrepreneurs to create businesses by pooling resources. However, there are doubts about the limited capacity of this type of entrepreneurship to create value and generate growth. Due to the heterogeneity of the phenomenon in the region, these views are insufficient to fully understand the entrepreneurial process; hence, this thesis explores the effects of collectivism on the entrepreneurship model in the context of necessity of the Global South. Situated in the interpretivism paradigm and using a qualitative design, the research involved a community in Ecuador as a case study. Twenty-one in-depth interviews were conducted with local entrepreneurs, which were analysed through thematic analysis. Data analysis indicated collectivism at three levels of the social structure: the community, the family, and the individual. At the community level, the findings evidenced a robust "associativity" process, which organised the group and achieved social cohesion, a cornerstone for the region's entrepreneurship development. The effects of collectivism were also manifested at the family level, with the creation of intergenerational and family businesses closely interrelated. At the individual level, the effects of collectivism were evident in peer-to-peer entrepreneurial imitation facilitation as a strategy to create ventures and collectively grow a single industry, creating a previously non-existent market process. Drawing on these remarks, this thesis has contributed to entrepreneurship research by determining the role of entrepreneurial imitation, resource development and collective growth in necessity-driven entrepreneurship in the Global South.
Type of thesis
The University of Waikato
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