Implications of the understanding of Entrepreneurship in Local Economic Development in Malawi

  • Charles Mwatsika
Keywords: SME, entrepreneurial behaviour, entrepreneurship education, Malawi


The study analyses knowledge about entrepreneurship which guides entrepreneurial behaviour in enterprises in Malawi in order to reflect on its implications in local economic development. Top-of the-mind definition which collects unaided responses from the top of respondents’ mind was used. Definitions or explanations of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activities undertaken were recorded from 337 enterprises. Innovations carried out by the enterprises were measured in new products, new production methods, new markets and new enterprises together with the values realised. Content analyses, descriptive statistics and comparison of means were used to classify the definitions of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial activities undertaken and compare values of innovations carried out. The study finds that entrepreneurship is predominantly defined as starting and managing one’s own business, being self-employed and creating jobs in the economy. Petty income generating activities and subsistence oriented micro and small enterprises dominate. The prevailing understanding of entrepreneurship guides policy, education and training, SME finance, infrastructure development and support towards unproductive entrepreneurial activities which would not ignite economic development. Therefore, much as institutions are established to support SME sector growth and improve the environment for business, improving knowledge about productive entrepreneurship that guides SME policy, finance, entrepreneurship education and training is pertinent in Malawi.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2305-7432