Engstrom & McKelvie in International Small Business Journal (ISBJ), “Financial literacy, role models, and micro-enterprise performance in the informal economy”

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Jambo (hello)! A field trip to Tanzania

Just ended an interesting two-week field trip to Tanzania. Me and the one eyed professor Trond, named so after a lost battle with his contact lens in the flight over, have been travelling around the Tanzanian country side, together with our Tanzanian colleague Dr. Neema Moori.

Bumpy road
Bumpy road

Like three explorers we have travelled on bumpy “roads” in a 4wd jeep meeting many small businesses around Tanzania and also presented and discussed research at the University of Dar Business School, the leading business school in Tanzania, on micro entrepreneurship and microfinance.

University of Dar es Salam Business School
University of Dar es Salaam Business School

Driving on the left hand side was an experience. When we changed from driving on the left hand side to the right during a weekend in the 1960s, the Swedes allegedly first started with busses and trucks on day one, and on day two allowed cars to switch side (a Norwegian joke..…)..  In Dar es Salam we experienced some of this when driving in the “mixed lane” in the middle…

Stockholm 1967 or Dar es Salaam mixed lane 2014?
Stockholm 1967 or Dar es Salaam mixed lane 2014?

We have met many innovative entrepreneurs, discussing gold mining operations and suggested alternative methods instead of their dangerous usage of mercury and cyanide, seen farming, visited a dairy production, a security business, a honey business, a power plant in Burundi, solar-power companies, coffee and fruit juice operations, construction companies and much more.

Young men seeking gold in the small Tanzanian mines.
Young men seeking gold in the small Tanzanian mines.
500 chicken
500 chicken

We also met Statoil and learnt about the current status and plans for the country. They have found gas 100 km out in the sea outside the Tanzania coastline. Drilling for gas in depths of 2000 meters is new to Statoil and the transportation of the gas once recovered is not the easiest thing. One of the biggest obstacles to Statoil is getting the bureaucratic permits and reaping any revenues from the drilling lies years ahead, but the government of Tanzania is already busy setting up a “welfare fund”.

In terms of the small businesses, there is no shortage of ideas and opportunities and the future of Tanzania is promising, although some major challenges and risks are ahead, such as road infrastructure, schooling, health and housing, and of course access to finance and an efficient government. A day at a pig and poultry farm was encouraging with environmentally friendly production methods, and good treatment of the animals, but we smelled like pigs back at the hotel afterwards….

Small baby pigs at a farm start-up
Small baby pigs at a farm start-up

Over the weekend we took a small, Indiana Jones inspired, plane to Stone Town, Zanzibar, see blog. When sitting just behind the pilots we noticed how the co-pilot fell asleep and awoke when we landed…. The other pilot was a short fellow who had to stand up while landing the plane, quite the scene, but we landed safely. Tanzania and not the least Zanzibar is blessed with some amazing shorelines and beautiful scenery. Islam is the dominant religion at Zanzibar, whereas Tanzania is more mixed between Islam and Christianity.

Beach at Zanzibar
Beach at Zanzibar

While travelling we were pulled over 4 times by different cops for various reasons, such as crossing the double-lines in the middle of the road, which of course we had not done. All this was part of the daily revenue generation strategy by the police force. The revenues from the first 150 pulled over go to the government, while the rest go to the police force… If they stopped you, it was better to pay the 20 dollars than to spend 30 minutes discussing with them, which they knew. But they were very nice, typically dressed in white.

Victoria lake, stone structures, near Mwanza
Victoria lake, stone structures, near Mwanza

Today, coming home to celebrate my “insanely great” first born and oldest daughter Ella, turning 13 years old. <3<3<3<3

Asante sana (thank you)!

Status – One year into the program

Efter nästan ett år känner jag att det är dags att återkoppla till er hur det gått och hur jag ligger till. Det känns rätt hoppfullt, även om tiden är knapp.

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(english follows below)

För att ta en PhD krävs att man kan skriva 4 stycken välskrivna akademiska artiklar som ska vara publicerbara, och helst publicerade, i en högt rankad sk “journal”, och självfallet ska artiklarna vävas ihop i en enhetlig avhandling som ska godkännas av en oberoende internationell grupp. Jag har påbörjat cirka 7 artiklar, men enbart 1 av dessa bedömer jag vara i ett skick som på sikt kan bli en publicerbar artikel. Den handlar omEntrepreneurship and Microfinance: Do poor microentrepreneurs need microfinance?” Här är en kopia på artikeln i nuvarande form (citera ej):

Do poor entrepreneurs need microfinance – draft do not cite!


Source: http://oikocreditusa.org/blog-detail-page?newsCat1=2448

Som nästa artikel jobbar jag med data från Ecuador där jag ser på vad som leder till entrepreneurial success hos olika mikroentreprenörer. Hur spelar utbildning och erfarenhet in, finansiellt kapital, nätverk, kön, handikapp, personlighet etc. Den artikeln är än så länge i ett mycket tidigt skede men jag ska om en månad presentera ett utkast (draft) till mina handledare.


Source: http://www.microfinanceresearch.org/index.php?page=cv

Jag har avverkat en rad kurser (courses completed so far):

1 Qualitative Research Methods (Professor Arent Greve) — PASS

2 Quantitative Research Methods (Professor Dale Duhan) — PASS

3 Theory of Science (Professor Otto Anderson) — PASS

4 International Marketing (Professor Andreas Falkenberg and Dr. Rotem Sneor) — PASS

5 International Management (Professor Harald Knutsen and Dr. Bjørn Tore Flåten) — PASS

6 International Strategy and Structure (Professor Joyce Falkenberg) — PASS

7 Publication Course (Dr. Roy Mersland) — PASS

8 M&A Course (Professor Jakob Weber) — paper due end of this semester

(in english)

After almost a year, I feel it is time to reconnect to all of you were I stand. I feel quite hopeful, even though being pressed for time.

To obtain a PhD I am required to write four well written academic articles which can be published (are publishable), in preferably a high ranked journal. In the dissertation the four articles will obviously be combined in a coherent format, and approved by an independent international jury. I have started about 7 articles, but only one of these I consider to be in a condition which may eventually become a publishable article. It is about “Entrepreneurship and Microfinance: Do poor microentrepreneurs need microfinance?” Here is a copy of the article in the present form:

Do poor entrepreneurs need microfinance – draft do not cite

In the next article I’m working with data from Ecuador where I look at what leads to entrepreneurial success in various micro-enterprises. How do education and experience in, financial capital, networks, gender, disability, personality, etc affect profitability? This article is still in a very early stage but I will next month introduce a draft (draft) to my supervisor.

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Source: Jorge Cham