Fostering bottom-up entrepreneurship in embryonic ecosystems: Insights from smallholders
In embryonic entrepreneurial ecosystems, support policy frameworks seek to revitalize rural communities, alleviate poverty, transform key sectors of the economy and develop local businesses by increasing access to finance among others. However, policy frameworks rarely foster vertical connections across ecosystems particularly from the bottom-up. In some cases, entrepreneurial ecosystem elements do not necessarily address the peculiar needs of entrepreneurial diversity within the ecosystem. Drawing insights from smallholders, this paper seeks to examine the outlook for entrepreneurial opportunities among them and the influence of entrepreneurial ecosystem support on entrepreneurship opportunities outlook. The paper identifies the key drivers of bottom-up entrepreneurship opportunities. The study concludes that fostering bottom-up entrepreneurship among smallholders with a discovery entrepreneurship outlook in embryonic entrepreneurial ecosystems can contribute in helping those in poverty go beyond subsistence entrepreneurship. The paper recommends that entrepreneurial ecosystem elements should be mobilised to offer financial resources and institutional support beyond the current information support available to smallholders.