PERCEPTIONS OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN MALAWI: A COUNTRY CONTEXT UNDERSTANDING OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Reference: Mwatsika, C. (2021). Perceptions of entrepreneurship in Malawi: A country context understanding of entrepreneurship. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 9(2), 49-62. doi: 10.37335/ijek.v9i2.134

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37335/ijek.v9i2.134

Keywords:

Entrepreneurship, perceptions, entrepreneurial activities, Malawi

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is considered a strategy for economic development, but other scholars found that it does not bring economic growth in developing countries. Although entrepreneurship has multiple perspectives, there is a lack of knowledge about prevailing perceptions and activities undertaken in developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The purpose of this study was to measure the perceptions of entrepreneurship in Malawi to have country context knowledge of the concept that guides what is undertaken as entrepreneurship. A cross-sectional survey of 337 enterprise owners and managers was undertaken using a questionnaire. Participants were requested to provide their top-of-the-mind definitions of entrepreneurship and activities their enterprises had undertaken which were considered entrepreneurial. Analyses of definitions and activities undertaken were used to draw out perceptions of entrepreneurship. The study found that starting and managing one's own business for profit, creating jobs, and being self-employed is the prevailing understanding of entrepreneurship in Malawi. The study further found low innovation among enterprises. Although the perceptions found reflect classical economic perspectives, they are inadequate to ignite economic development because of a lack of focus on innovation. The findings imply that understanding a concept is important in practice.  Therefore, stakeholders are encouraged to appraise their knowledge about entrepreneurship to align with theories where entrepreneurship is the driver of business growth and economic development. Further studies are required on the relationships between perceptions of entrepreneurship, activities undertaken, and economic development to advance entrepreneurial knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Author Biography

Charles Mwastika, Management Studies Department, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, Blantyre, Malawi

Charles Mwatsika

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7390-2847

Management Studies Department, Faculty of Commerce, Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, Private Bag 303, Blantyre 3, Malawi. www.mubas.ac.mw

Email: cmwatsika@mubas.ac.mw

Charles Mwatsika is a lecturer in entrepreneurship, tourism, and corporate strategy with the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences. His research interests are enterprise start-ups, enterprise growth, entrepreneurship development in Sub-Saharan Africa, and pro-poor tourism for economic development in developing countries.

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Published

2021-12-22