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Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 550142
Title Unruly entrepreneurs–investigating value creation by microfinance clients in rural Burundi
Author(s) Cieslik, Katarzyna; Hudon, Marek; Verwimp, Philip
Source Oxford Development Studies (2019). - ISSN 1360-0818
Department(s) Knowledge Technology and Innovation
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Burundi - entrepreneurship - Microfinance - rule-breaking - subsistence communities

This study explores the entrepreneurial potential of the rule-breaking practices of microfinance programs’ beneficiaries. Using the storyboard methodology, we examine the strategies employed by the poor in Burundi to bypass institutional rules. Based on 66 short interviews conducted in seven rural provinces of Burundi, our exploratory study analyzes the entrepreneurial potential in four instances of rule-evasion: consumption spending, illegitimate investment, loan juggling and loan arrogation. We argue that some of the unruly practices are in fact entrepreneurial, as they create tangible and intangible value for the rural poor at both household and community levels. These include strengthening social ties through gift exchange and ceremonies, which then help poor households to self-insure against shocks through social networks. By analyzing the push and pull factors for unruly behavior, we show that rule-breaking practices are often necessitated by the microfinance industry itself and call for increased flexibility and adaptability of microfinance products.

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