Entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty in developed economies

Michael H. Morris, Susana C. Santos, Xaver Neumeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


While entrepreneurship in developing economies at the base of the pyramid is receiving growing attention, scholars have devoted less effort to exploring entrepreneurship as a solution to poverty in advanced economies. Yet, poverty rates have not meaningfully changed in most developed economies in 50 years, and the income gap between rich and poor continues to widen. In this article, we examine entrepreneurship as a source of empowerment for the economically disadvantaged. We explore the nature of poverty and its implications for various aspects of entrepreneurship, identify problematic aspects of the typical low-income startup, and present the SPODER conceptual framework for fostering entrepreneurial development among the poor: (S) supportive infrastructure, (P) preparation of the entrepreneur; (O) expanded opportunity horizons; (D) finding sources of differentiation; (E) a well-designed economic model; and (R) leveraging community resources. We conclude by drawing from the framework implications for those involved in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-390
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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