Learning by Doing: Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

December 25, 2013

The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development has not been well explored. While it is obvious to some, many regard entrepreneurship as important without necessarily considering why it is important, and as such don’t have a cogent idea of how and why it works. What is in the nature of entrepreneurship that is transformational and disruptive? Is everyone capable of becoming an entrepreneur, or is it a specialised skill? What are the rule systems that enable entrepreneurship? And can disruptive entrepreneurship survive absent of these rules? Why is there a trend towards magic bullet entrepreneurial solutions to economic development puzzles? Over the last six years, my team and I have conducted experiments in India combining research and practice, building out entrepreneurial solutions to socio-economic problems. Based on this experience of learning by doing, the Legatum Institute's Reuben Abraham addresses some of these aforementioned questions in this paper.