UMBC defines an entrepreneur as someone who generates an income for self and household through taking risks and using accessible assets, resources and skills to identify and exploit market opportunities. This definition encompasses those who move between wage, self and various kinds of contract-based employment. The definition also calls to attention 3 channels for supporting entrepreneurs: (1) expanding their asset base (including skills), (2) enhancing market opportunities and access (3) providing access to resources, information, mentoring and strategies that minimize risk.

UMBC recognises that there are a wide range of (1) motivations and aspirations, (2) competencies and existing skills, and (3) social customs and obligations, which shape the nature, scope, and scale of enterprises operated by the urban poor. Given the gender differences across each of these factors, entrepreneurship development for urban poor men and women requires targeting different sets of constraints.

UMBC has gained experience in identifying the scale and type of enterprises within its target urban poor communities, and henceforth designs it’s activities to target specific clusters of entrepreneurs.