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Entrepreneurship in fragile economies focusing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Western African Countries.
The research aims to find out what motivates these entrepreneurs to create new businesses in these areas, also analyzing the typical profile of the founders.

This thesis will expose the difficulties faced by local entrepreneurs living in areas with fragile economies. More specifically, the focus will be on young entrepreneurs who have been establishing businesses in these areas. Consequently, this thesis intends to answer the questions: “What are the main challenges for start-ups in fragile economies?”; “What is the profile of a typical start-up founder in fragile economies?”; “What are the main market needs that are being addressed by start-ups?”. Qualitative research is best suited to understand social dynamics and to identify trends in opinions. The aim is also to interpret the context and analyze the reasons for the change in business strategies and supply chain. This paper will be conducted according to an exploratory research design which is in line with the choice of collecting the data source by conducting interviews. Data from the primary source will be collected through in-depth interviews.The interviews will be at least a dozen and will involve all entrepreneurs residing in the selected states
ESCP Europe
Bachelor in Management
Academic Writing Skills
Introduction, 2022

Thesis Title
Entrepreneurship in Fragile Economies

Name: Luigi Fenotti
Student number: 198419
Email: luigi.fenotti@edu.escp.eu
AWS Teacher: Tristan Thordsen
Thesis Supervisor: Tanja Schomann
Word count: 995

Entrepreneurship has the potential to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth and promote innovation, as well as improve social and environmental sustainability. The topic is relevant to explore entrepreneurship in fragile economies, such as Afghanistan, Iraq or in sub-Saharan African countries where ongoing civil wars and political tensions have deeply affected the national economy and its entrepreneurial activities. Previous researchers have found that national rates of opportunity-based entrepreneurial activity are influenced by the protection of property rights, which is linked to the rule of law, the absence of corruption, and the effectiveness of government (McMullen et al., 2008). The study will focus on key issues associated with the challenges entrepreneurs face to survive in these areas and continue their businesses, while further exploring what drives some entrepreneurs to open new start-ups in those areas and not to migrate to a more developed country with less economic and political distress.
Much research in the United States and EU has been conducted on the difficulties that entrepreneurs have in leading their businesses in fragile economies without government or social structures. Academic research on Afghanistan (A.Muhammad, et al. 2011); Iraq (M. Renko et al., 2020); Nigeria (A. Okezie, et al. 2013) have been conducted focusing on the problems of supply-chain, social welfare while considering the positive impact that entrepreneurship can bring to the domestic economy and social life. However, as almost all countries are affected by common problems, some factors have not yet been explored, such as the reasons why these entrepreneurs open new businesses in these areas despite knowing the high economic and political risk. Today, there are more than 40 fragile states in the world, which means that about 1.5 billion people live in fragile countries and regions that often correspond to the poorest parts of the earth. Previous studies have tried to find an association between the types of entrepreneurial efforts and economic development (Thurik, & Wennekers, 2007). The level of economic development of a country can influence both the rates of entrepreneurial efforts and their type (Sternberg & Wennekers, 2005). Empirical evidence shows that entrepreneurial venture creation rates are higher in poor countries and decrease when economies become richer. The research aims to find out what motivates these entrepreneurs to create new businesses in these areas, also analyzing the typical profile of the founders.

This thesis will expose the difficulties faced by local entrepreneurs living in areas with fragile economies. More specifically, the focus will be on young entrepreneurs who have been establishing businesses in these areas. Consequently, this thesis intends to answer the questions: “What are the main challenges for start-ups in fragile economies?”; “What is the profile of a typical start-up founder in fragile economies?”; “What are the main market needs that are being addressed by start-ups?”; “How has the education system reacted to the challenges of the fragile economy?

The author decided to carry out a qualitative study to obtain comprehensive knowledge in the field. Qualitative research is best suited to understand social dynamics and to identify trends in opinions. The aim is also to interpret the context and analyze the reasons for the change in business strategies and supply chain. This paper will be conducted according to an exploratory research design which is in line with the choice of collecting the data source by conducting interviews. Data from the primary source will be collected through in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling is chosen as a sampling technique because this strategy is used in interviews with specific groups of people. Participants are selected based on the qualities they possess and are expected to give unique and valuable information to the study. The sample selected for interviews will share their personal experience and knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship in areas of the world with economic, political, and social instability. Qualitative research will allow the determination of the “why and how” of the course of action. The literature search strategy is based on academic research identified mainly on Google Scholar, Base and Mendeley. The key search words will be: ‘Entrepreneurship in fragile economies and consequences’; ‘Main challenges for enterprises in fragile economies’; ‘Typical profile of start-up founders in fragile economies’. The coding strategy for the qualitative research will be automated using thematic analysis software with artificial intelligence (AI) to code qualitative data. The text will be divided into main themes by the deductive method, using a set of codes that are then assigned to the new data.

An ambitious goal for society would be to let the world of work in more developed societies know that even in areas with fragile economies there is a market and businesses that are committed, despite much greater difficulties, to progressing and keeping up with the innovations of global development. The objective of this thesis is to encourage these local entrepreneurs by praising their activities and studying their market and development strategies, to promote to managers in more developed countries these companies that can facilitate new business activities by highlighting a much more competitive price due to cheaper labour.
The thesis will proceed following detailed planning, respecting tight deadlines to avoid overloading the work in the final stages before final submission. Initially, additional literature will be added to increase the knowledge of the topic and to have more topics available. The next step will be to select the states to be referred to in the thesis, based on the interviews that will be conducted. The interviews will be at least a dozen and will involve all entrepreneurs residing in the selected states and with businesses founded no more than four years ago, to analyze the reasons that led these founders not to invest in more developed economies. Using the method of qualitative analysis, the author will select the key arguments on market and supply chain strategies that the various entrepreneurs have in common, focusing on the main constraints that prevent homogeneous growth. Finally, a final discussion will be structured where the research and the results obtained will be analyzed.

References

Afshar Jahanshahi, A., Brem, A., & Hoerauf, D. (2020). Employee creativity in war zones: Empirical evidence from small firms in Afghanistan.?Creativity and Innovation Management,?29(3), 465?480.
Afshar Jahanshahi, A., Rauch, A., & Gholami, H. (2019). Too Dangerous to be an Entrepreneur -Warzone Entrepreneurs? Exit Intention.?Academy of Management Proceedings,?2019(1), 13477.
Ault, Joshua K., and Andrew Spicer. “State fragility as a multi-dimensional construct for international entrepreneurship research and practice.”?Asia Pacific Journal of Management37.4 (2020): 981-1011.
Bartnick, Aaron. “Obstacles and Opportunities for Entrepreneurship in Iraq & the Kurdistan Region.”?The Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS), the American University of Iraq-Sulaiman, Kurdistan Region of Iraq?(2017).
Bullough, A., Renko, M., & Myatt, T. (2014). Danger zone entrepreneurs: The importance of resilience and self-efficacy for entrepreneurial intentions.?Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice,?38(3), 473?499.
Igwe, Paul Agu, et al. “Factors affecting the investment climate, SMEs productivity and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.”?European Journal of Sustainable Development?7.1 (2018): 182-182.
Mohammadali, Zrar Mohsin, and Sabir Sadiq Abdulkhaliq. “PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN THE KURDISTAN REGION OF IRAQ: AN OVERVIEW: Mohammadali, ZM, Abdulkhaliq SS (2019). Prospects and Challenges of Entrepreneurship Development in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq: An Overview. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, 7 (2), 4-16. DOI: 10.12345-0006.”?International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge?7.2 (2019).
Muhammad, A., Akbar, S., & Dalziel, M. (2011, June). The journey to develop educated entrepreneurs: Prospects and problems of Afghan businessmen.
Ofili, Onyeka Uche. “Challenges facing entrepreneurship in Nigeria.”?International Journal of Business and Management9.12 (2014): 258.
Smallbone, D., & Welter, F. (2001). The Distinctiveness of Entrepreneurship in Transition Economies.?Small Business Economics,?16(4), 249?262.

FEEDBACK TANJA
-LACK OF Clarity in Research Question ? Make it Clear the Research Question
Research questions need to fit under one main theme, with one study design. Questions need to be really interconnected between each other.
EX: Education System, you can write about it in the thesis and how it responds to the needs of entrepreneurs but then needs to be reflected in the Introduction and Literature review part.
Everything that you state needs to be clear and coherent over reaching threats and whats the core theme.
-You are not saying who are you going to interview (entrepreneurs? experts ?)
-Methods make it clear with automated AI codes ? As a researcher you should make the coding by your self ? state which software are you going to use
-More Clarity, Rigor, and sharpness in writing style and flow of information
-It felt you rushed it ? not too much careful refinement