Eijdenberg, Emiel 2EMIEL EIJDENBERG
Strategy & Organisation

Dissertation Title
Small business growth in East African Least Developed Countries: Unravelling the role of the small business owners

Date and Location
June 22, 2016 at 11.45 in the Aula of the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Small business growth in East African Least Developed Countries: Unravelling the role of the small business owners

Eijdenberg, EmielDeparting from the aim to enhance economic growth and fight poverty, this PhD thesis explores the determinants that underlie small business growth in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). On the basis of the findings from the five empirical studies in Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, the answer to the main research question: ‘To what extent do the owners determine the growth of their small business in East African Least Developed Countries?’, is that the growth of small businesses in East African LDCs is only partially determined by the owners. To a certain extent, while the owner can have multiple entrepreneurial motivations at the same time, and acting in necessity situations may generate opportunity motivations, small business growth is determined by a mix of motivations. However, entrepreneurial motivation does not play an important role for the determination of the development of the owner’s personal wealth in the informal economy. Furthermore, the owner’s effectuation and causation orientations have more or less no effect on small business growth; entrepreneurial orientation does not play any role of importance in the determination of the owner’s development of personal wealth in the informal economy; and small business growth is partly determined by the owner’s age. The findings of the PhD thesis contribute to the theory in term of what is known about the determinants of small business growth in LDCs, and the applicability of well-known concepts from Western studies in non-Western contexts. Finally, the findings of the PhD thesis have multiple implications for practitioners.      

About the Author

Emiel Eijdenberg (1987) holds a BSc degree in Business Administration, an MSc degree in Marketing, and an MSc degree in Business Administration with a specialisation in Entrepreneurship, all completed at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During his studies, Emiel went to Uganda for several months to conduct the data collection of his second MSc thesis. After completing his degrees, Emiel continued with a PhD project on entrepreneurship in East-Africa. During his time as a PhD researcher, Emiel spent several months for research and teaching in each of the countries Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.