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Urban Micro: reflections on a decade of microenterprise development in a Bolivian city


Eversole, R, Urban Micro: reflections on a decade of microenterprise development in a Bolivian city, Journal of Latin American Urban Studies, Department of History, St. John's University, Jamaica, 8, pp. 17-33. (2007) [Magazine Article]

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The mid-1990s in Bolivia were filled with great interest in the potential of microenterprise to provide a solution to urban poverty. Microcredit was new and seized upon for its promise to provide a launching point for microenterprises. The older discourse of the informal economy (Hart 1973) was disappearing, the new optimism of enterprise - and the potential of enterprise dcvelopment through microfinance - was taking its place, both locally and internationally (see e.g. Hulme and Mosley 1996, Harper and Finnegan 1998, Rhyne 2001). For Bolivia, a country with a notably large urban informal sector, the shift attracted significant attention.

From being seen as marginal actors in urban economies - the petty-commodity producers, peasants in cities or surplus labourers eking out a subsistence livelihood on the urban fringe (see e.g. Nun. Marin and Mumlis 1967, Roberts 1978, Babb 1989, or from a more critical perspective, Binford and Cook 199 1) - the owner-operators of micro-scale businesses were elevated to the centre of the conceptual economy. They generated employment, they improved household income, they strengthened local economies in poor areas, and they were not the problem but the solution.

Item Details

Item Type:Magazine Article
Keywords:Bolivia, microenterprise, economy, employment, development
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Anthropology
Research Field:Social and cultural anthropology
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Multicultural services
UTAS Author:Eversole, R (Professor Robyn Eversole)
ID Code:103342
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:Institute for Regional Development
Deposited On:2015-10-06
Last Modified:2015-10-06

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