In this first post of a two-part series, I note the risks and barriers associated with [micro] entrepreneurship by the poor, the social and cultural barriers especially faced by women in this local context, and the socio-economic profile of [urban poor] women that tend to venture into entrepreneurship. Note however, that these observations stem from my experience in the state of Orissa, a state that is notoriously "un-entrepreneurial" and a state whose economic and physical infrastructure are poorly developed.
In my next post, I describe some specific profiles of women that have tended to engage in our entrepreneurship development project, and why it would be problematic to focus solely on those who are "Below Poverty Line", or meet very stringent eligibility criteria.
The businessman shown above has been a "consultant" to our snack production enterprise, and has provided some interesting insights on entrepreneurship & labor dynamics.
Left: A highly successful local businessman, who's made a fortune by processing and trading spices, Indian snacks, and various kitchen groceries. Above: Individuals working for our project's in-house snack production enterprise. The latter are not entrepreneurs, but are skilled artisans who so far have been too risk averse to own the snack business