Can entrepreneurship boost sustainable development in fragile countries?

  • Marta Manuel Amaral Marques Pereira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Fragile countries pose an intricate challenge for governments and traditional aid approaches: they continue to struggle overtime with low resilience and vulnerability, and are now accounting for a growing share of the world’s poor. When every other method has failed, can entrepreneurship be the key ingredient for turnaround? For countries trapped in fragility, little has been researched or elaborated upon. We studied what current authors said about entrepreneurship and fragility, and which diagnoses could we take from the (short) available data. We ran a multiple linear regression that uses three World Bank Doing Business Indicators for “Starting a Business” – number of required procedures, cost and starting days- plus seven coded dummy variables accounting for years and type of country to predict the State Fragility Index (SFI from the Center for Systemic Peace). The data sample includes fragile countries, countries that managed to recover out of fragility, and low-income countries that have never experienced fragility for the years between 2004 and 2010. Along with this analysis we conducted several interviews with field experts in the subject. We discovered that according to the SFI there are 28 highly and extremely fragile countries, which have warily shown any progress in the past two decades. For these countries aid methods should focus on technical assistance rather than on financial, and in improving local capability and easing the business environment: in our regression we found that the SFI variability can be explained in 86% by the predictor variables, which led us to conclude that policy-making in fragile countries should definitely focus in easing entrepreneurial activity. We were successful in constructing a sequential process through which these entrepreneurial activities would lead to development in fragile settings with the help of a framework. To construct this framework we worked upon the findings from a model recently created, applying the principles of Expeditionary Economics for the specific case of Pakistan, by the Kauffman Foundation, whilst integrating the Entrepreneurship Framework Conditions from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, and the Entrepreneurship Model from Carre and Thurik (2002). From this research we draw one conclusion: is high-time both international bodies and governments regarded entrepreneurship as a key driver of sustainable development in fragile settings.
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorSusana Frazão Ferreira Fernandes Pinheiro (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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