Original Research

Survivalism, collectivism and proud heritage: A study of informal arts and crafts entrepreneurship in rural Zimbabwe

Sibusiswe P. Bango, Esinath Ndiweni, Laura Galloway, Helen Verhoeven
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 49, No 1 | a233 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v49i1.233 | © 2018 Laura Galloway | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 May 2018 | Published: 23 August 2018

About the author(s)

Sibusiswe P. Bango, Empretec, Zimbabwe
Esinath Ndiweni, School of Social Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Laura Galloway, Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Helen Verhoeven, Private, United Kingdom


Background: Entrepreneurship has most often been studied in the context of developed economies and results extrapolated to apply universally. This tells us little about entrepreneurship in other contexts, including in developing economy situations. In the developing world, entrepreneurship has been explored as a means of reducing poverty, but there has been little inspection of it from other perspectives.


Aim: This article explores the motives and experiences of arts and crafts traders in rural Zimbabwe and provides information about the purposes of the business for financial and social life from the perspectives of our research participants.


Method: The study used a qualitative methodology, conducting interviews with 12 rural arts and crafts traders.


Results: The research identifies drivers, experiences and outcomes of entrepreneurship that are explained by the unique structural and sociocultural context, and the value ascribed to business refers both to financial income and the dissemination of culture and heritage. Evidence of specific sub-Saharan modes of conducting business, reflecting the collectivity, reciprocity and strong ethnic identity characteristics of sub-Saharan African societies also emerges.


Conclusion: The article illustrates that western models of business and entrepreneurship may be limited in terms of informing us about the experiences in other contexts. We argue that research on entrepreneurship, and any policy on it in sub-Saharan Africa, takes cognisance of the non-western context and the potential for unique contextual business orientation and outcomes.


No related keywords in the metadata.


Total abstract views: 2502
Total article views: 3490


Crossref Citations

1. Microfinance and micropreneurship in rural South-East Nigeria: an exploration of the effects of institutions
Irene Ukanwa, Lin Xiong, Jahangir Wasim, Laura Galloway
Entrepreneurship & Regional Development  vol: 34  issue: 7-8  first page: 650  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1080/08985626.2022.2087747