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„Ein bisschen weniger arm“: Die Logik der Subsistenzunternehmer

Erhard Berner, Georgina Gomez, Peter Knorringa

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„A little less poor“: The logic of subsistence entrepreneurs. A large majority of small- and microentrepreneurs aim primarily for subsistence and security, and, consequently, follow a qualitatively different logic from that of growth-oriented entrepreneurs. By presenting the key characteristics of subsistence and growth-oriented enterprises, this article highlights their distinction. It, furthermore, brings together and illuminates what limited evidence exists concerning the transition between subsistence and growth-oriented enterprises. Although the majority of poorer entrepreneurs follow a subsistence rationality, we argue that most development interventions use an implicit growth-oriented logic and, therefore, fail to address the specific needs of small-scale entrepreneurs. We conclude by outlining a more pragmatic policy package, one which starts from the reality that instead of being means to riches, subsistence businesses serve primarily as buffers against slipping deeper into poverty.