ERD Special Issue: Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toward Poverty Reduction

Starts:  Sep 1, 2018 7:00 AM (ET)
Ends:  Sep 15, 2018 11:59 PM (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal

Special Issue: Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toward Poverty Reduction

Call for Papers 

Papers for the Special Issue, deadline September 15, 2018

Guest Editors:

Steven Si, Zhejiang University/Bloomsburg U. of Pennsylvania (USA/China)
John Cullen, Washington State University (USA)
David Ahlstrom, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong)
Jiang Wei, Zhejiang University (China) 

Ways in which poverty can be reduced in both countries and regions through business, entrepreneurship, and government has been a hot issue for researchers and policymakers in recent years. In general, economic growth has allowed large numbers of people to move out of poverty. However, it is increasingly clear that while some countries and regions in Asia, Africa, and South America have seen dramatic improvement in the overall rates of poverty, there are other places with large numbers of people still in poverty. For example, India has over 400 million people, China still has tens of millions of very poor, and many other parts of the world still face extreme poverty.

The large number of the severely poor people has increasingly been recognized as an issue for both governments and entrepreneurs. Governments can play an important role in helping these poor people by non-profit organizations and others that help to seed business among the poor. However, businesses increasingly also see the large number of people in severe poverty not only an issue for social concern, but also as a potentially large untapped market of consumers for goods and services. Some scholars (e.g., Bruton, et al 2015; Si, 2015) have called on the poverty reduction through entrepreneurship owing to that it can be an efficient path to also change the poor's attitudes and behaviors from a passive mode, to a more active mode towards poverty reduction economically and socially. In the extant studies, scholars advocate BOP entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurship and women role changing, public entrepreneurship, grassroots entrepreneurship, inclusive entrepreneurship, innovative entrepreneurship, and among others (e.g., Si, 2015; Li Keqiang, 2017 ). Anderson and Obeng (2016) point out insightfully that business is conducted and hedged by social obligations, responsibilities and entitlements and the economic “systems” of production, the buying and selling, lending and borrowing can be understood, and better explained, as social processes that enriched the extant theory of poverty reduction through entrepreneurship.

In addition to above, the sharing economy brings opportunities for a generation of micro- entrepreneurs that is through internet platforms such as Airbnb, renting power tools, giving each other a lift, and providing clearing services; potentially, a new world where everyone is a micro- entrepreneur. There is a recognition that these types of entrepreneurship above could offer the greatest single potential means to move individuals out of poverty in the nations and regions, in the next 5-10 years. The generation of entrepreneurship among the desperately poor may provide the means for the poor to change their own lives, rather than the government or other groups doing it for them. This has led to a focus by both entrepreneurs and governments to seek to encourage greater business and entrepreneurship activity among the desperately poor.

This ERD Special Issue seeks to provide new and valuable analyses of poverty and business, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the current nations and regions including developing and developed countries. We want to generate new insights on poverty and how business, entrepreneurship, and innovation can help to move people out of desperate poverty. Overall, the editors belief is that as business, entrepreneurship, and innovation help to generate greater business activity in settings of severe poverty, they will help to solve poverty as individuals in severe poverty are able to both generate greater incomes and accumulate greater assets as they participate with those large firms in those activities. The individuals in poverty will increasingly change their attitude and behavior from passive to active model through attending these business, entrepreneurship, and innovative activities. Thus, a rich range of topics can be included in the special issue as we look at new and innovative approaches that help to address these issues.

The editors are seeking conceptual, theoretical, and empirical (both quantitative and qualitative) papers that advance the state of knowledge on business, entrepreneurship, and innovation toward poverty reduction. Topics include, but are not limited to:


  1. While the extant literature on poverty reduction focused on the external help from government or charity institutions, how to view poverty reduction through business and entrepreneurship as an internal process which can help the poor to transform their passive attitudes, and behaviors into positive actions toward reducing poverty.


  1. The sharing economy generated new opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs that are through internet platforms such as Airbnb, renting power tools, and giving each other a lift and providing cleaning services. It makes a sort of new world where almost a anyone can be a micro-entrepreneur. How do micro-entrepreneurs impact with poverty reduction in both nations and regions in the current digital/sharing economy?


  1. What is the role of women in entrepreneurship for reducing poverty? What is the path of entrepreneurship through changing women's role to reduce poverty and economic development in the extant poverty areas?


  1. There are numerous enterprising individuals living in severe poverty with innovative ideas, but without sufficient access to financial resources. What can be done to facilitate the transition of these entrepreneurial and innovative ideas to generate a growth businesses?

  1. What is the role of inclusive entrepreneurship, inclusive innovation, and inclusive market that can help poor people to create new business models toward poverty reduction?


  1. What are the roles of networks and alliances by individuals living in severe poverty as they seek to either found or grow a business? What is the role of micro-finance and informal debts model in the effort to address this shortage of financial resources?


  1. What are the actions of governments that help to generate the greatest success as firms both seek to address issues of poverty, and to serve and compete in markets characterized by desperate poverty?


  1. Many individuals in poverty form informal firms – firms conducting legal activities, but not registered with the government. How does being an informal firm enable or restrict the ability of such firms for both survival and growth?


  1. What alliances between for-profit firms and non-profit organizations help to generate the greatest reduction in poverty? What are the business models that can generate the greatest success for business in the poverty areas?


  1. How does innovation such as inclusive innovation, disruptive innovation, and the innovation processes of firms differ as they seek to address those living at the bottom of the pyramid?


Special Issue Workshop: In November 15, 2018, a workshop associated with the special issue will take place for those authors who have received an invitation to participate. The workshop will take place in eastern China at Zhejiang University in the city of Hangzhou.


The Keynote Speakers of the Workshop are:

Alistair Anderson, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Editor-in-Chief of ERD, Aberdeen Business

School, Robert Gordon University, UK


Roy Suddaby, Professor of Management, Former Editor-in-Chief of AMR (Academy of

Management Review), University of Victoria, Canada.


Steven Si, Professor of Management, Formal Special Issue Editor of JBV and SEJ, Zhejiang

University/Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.


John Cullen, Professor of Entrepreneurship, Editor-in-IB of JWB, Washington State University



David Ahlstrom, Former Editor -in-Chief of APJM, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

(Hong Kong),


Please note that presentation at the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper for publication in the special issue, and attending the workshop is not a precondition for acceptance into the Special Issue. Papers suitable for publication in the special issue will be double-blind reviewed following the ERD’s review process guidelines.

Submission Guidelines: Submissions should be prepared in accordance with ERD’s style guide and submitted to or by September 15, 2018 and a workshop invitation letter will be issued on September 30, 2018.   Be sure to indicate that your submission is for the Business, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Toward Poverty Reduction special issue. The first page must contain the title, author(s) and contact information of the corresponding author. For additional guidelines, please see ‘Instructions for Authors’ or in a recent issue of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development. The special issue will likely be published in 2019 or 2020.

Questions regarding the special issue can be addressed to: Steven Si ( or 

Papers should NOT be submitted through the journal website but directly to Steven Si.

Download the full call


Steven Si