Purpose – Driving economic development at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) is an enduring global challenge. While the market-based approach places hope on entrepreneurship as a major impetus to drive the underdeveloped economy, the performance of entrepreneurial businesses and their impact on poverty reduction are sometimes below expectations. This paper seeks to examine the factors that may be hindering entrepreneurship within the BOP context. This paper presents preliminary answers and provides research suggestions related to this question.
Design/methodology/approach – In order to identify the reasons behind the underperformance of entrepreneurship at the BOP, a comprehensive literature review was conducted to see what is already known about this puzzle.
Findings – By reviewing extant literature, four clusters of factors were found to shape entrepreneurial activities at BOP: (1) Individual-level factors may be restraining entrepreneurial activities within BOP context, (2) gender inequality at BOP is hindering female entrepreneurship, (3) insufficient institutional support is holding back entrepreneurial activities in BOP and (4) business development initiatives are making multifaceted impacts on entrepreneurial activities in BOP.
Originality/value – This paper contributes to theory in that it is the first comprehensive review of literature on constraints of entrepreneurship in the context of BOP. In investigating influential factors of entrepreneurial success in the BOP context, the authors recognize four major influential forces that are shaping entrepreneurial processes at the bottom of the pyramid and further propose three directions of future research that are worthy for further exploration.
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Chang, A.Y. and Xu, Y. (2023), "Decoding underperformance of entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid: a literature review of the field", New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 88-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/NEJE-10-2022-0093