There are a number of challenges to working on entrepreneurship and skill development in urban and rural poor populations. The risks of setting up one's own enterprise and the opportunity cost of taking time to up skill are high. Although getting and keeping an unskilled job it is a far simpler economic strategy, in our experience, sustainable jobs are not easily attainable or a realistic option for these people.
So what are the alternatives?

Experiences of deep and multi-generational poverty:

·    experiences with ineffective welfare programs that have encouraged them to think and act as “beneficiaries” not creators and drivers of change;

·    experiences of extreme exploitation;

·    ill regulated local economies that make the entry of small businesses (let alone micro business) extremely difficult;

·    underdeveloped local supply chains in an underdeveloped local economy that make it difficult for micro- or small-entrepreneurs to access cheap and good quality raw material;

·    practically zero [useful] institutional support from the government toward financing/ skill development/ market information;

·    minimal to zero financing from banks (with a resultant glut of moneylenders and micro-finance institutions that charge an extraordinary amount of interest);


·    terrible infrastructure (a thriving business ecosystem really needs electricity, clean water (or just running water), basic sanitation/health/hygiene (just to stay healthy so one can be entrepreneurial), accessible transportation so entrepreneurs can be connected to local/regional market centres)

Mohanty, S. (2014) Developing Inclusive Livelihoods. Available at: