Entrepreneurs and SMEs in Rwanda

The Model Pupil Paradox

David Poole


Exposes current policy myths around entrepreneurs and development in Africa, demonstrating the counterproductive consequences of misguided policy.  

Entrepreneurs and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have become the darlings of neoliberal development thinking, with the received wisdom being that such enterprises hold the key to the economic transformation of low-income countries. This thinking has profoundly influenced development policy in Rwanda, but has singularly failed to deliver the much anticipated emergence of a new class of entrepreneurs and a vibrant SME sector.

This book deconstructs the myths around entrepreneurship and SMEs, and reveals how neoliberal approaches towards microcredit and related programmes have failed to address the economic challenges facing countries like Rwanda. Drawing on his study of successful and aspiring entrepreneurs, Poole identifies the factors associated with successful entrepreneurship. He uncovers the unintended consequences of the entrepreneurship and SME development prescription, and offers key policy insights which have implications for Rwanda and beyond.

Author Bio

David Poole holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London, and an MBA from Imperial College Business School. He had a successful career as a marketing consultant and entrepreneur. The experience of heading a team of volunteers providing support to businesses in Rwanda sparked his interest in the country's efforts to catalyse economic development through entrepreneurship and SME sector creation.

Table of Contents

List of Tables

Chapter 1 Terminology, Research Focus and Methodology 
Chapter 2 Theories of Entrepreneurship 
Chapter 3 Rwanda: the Model Pupil? 
Chapter 4 Successful Entrepreneurs, Finance and Planning 
Chapter 5 Successful Entrepreneurs and Psychological Traits 
Chapter 6 Searching for the Proto-entrepreneur
Chapter 7 Aspiring Entrepreneurs’ Motives for Starting a Business 
Chapter 8 Resolving the Paradox 


Publication Date: 28 January 2021
296 pages

Product ISBNs: Hardback: 9781786996251
eBook ePub: 9781786996282
eBook PDF: 9781786996275
eBook Kindle: 9781786996299

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