Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries


Entrepreneurship is most often related to the creation of new businesses. However, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial dynamics is as relevant to the creation of not-for-profit initiatives. It is about generating ideas, organizing and hands-on action that can have many different effects.

Entrepreneurship can mobilize people, resources and innovative practices and are fundamental to the ways we organize societies. In this course entrepreneurship is put in the context of developing countries. Both economical aspects of business based entrepreneurship, social aspects of civil society based entrepreneurship, and aspects of combining economical/social aims in a sustainable development are elaborated on in this course.

The context of developing countries brings a focus on issues related to low economic development and poverty alleviation, economies in transition and emerging markets as well as development of both social and political infrastructure beyond what commonly is elaborated on in western dominated entrepreneurship discourse. Thus, it is also paramount to critically scrutinize entrepreneurship activities, the promises it stands for and the possible outcomes. In the wake of increasing criticism of the neoliberal market economy, the course opens up for new questions, such as; How can we know that a specific entrepreneurial activity is good?

Intended learning outcomes

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to an overview of the role of entrepreneurship for economical, social and ecological sustainable development, including poverty alleviation. Focus is on developing regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America through:

  • Describing the key development challenges facing the developing world in the 21st Century
  • Identifying opportunities for entrepreneurial initiatives in developing countries, especially in relation to different forms of politics
  • Analyze what “governmental techniques”, such as empowerment, that are used to develop entrepreneurial initiatives in developing countries
  • Evaluate leadership and managerial dilemmas in navigating risk and uncertainty in developing regions
  • Analyzing, from theory and practice, links between technological and/or social innovations, entrepreneurship and sustainable development
  • Identify and analyze the prevailing features of the overall policy and reform environment that shape entrepreneurial development in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Critically scrutinize and discuss intervention techniques, such as foreign aid, trade and foreign direct investment, as tools for developing capacity to do business for sustainable development.


Throughout the course students will elaborate on the basics of entrepreneurship; to develop ideas and to act upon these ideas. The course is grounded in policy issues and entrepreneurship theory and experiences from practical cases are used for inspirational learning. Issues addressed are:

  • Idea generation in relation to development and sustainable development
  • Markets assessment in relation to political assessment

Financial opportunities in relation to poverty alleviation
Through the contextualization in developing countries, different roles of entrepreneurship are emphasized. Issues addressed are:

  • How entrepreneurship can contribute to development and what the effects are
  • How entrepreneurship shapes life in developing societies

This content will, constructively be put together in individual essays addressing different entrepreneurial initiatives and their effects. Some students might choose to describe a fictive learning case, while others might turn into real entrepreneurial initiatives. All will be followed by a critical reflection on entrepreneurship in developing countries. The course content will also be dealt with in a group project, which will focus on poverty alleviation in relation to sustainable development in a developing country.

Teaching and learning activities

Classes will be based on lectures on key issues, inspiring guest lectures, creative learning-by-doing group projects, discussions, and critical reflective assignments in relation to literature specified for different themes in the course.

Grades and form of assessment

Students’ grade will depend on three factors:

  • Individual essay
  • Group projects
  • Active participation


Attendance is compulsory.

Additional information

The course language is English.
The course is offered within the framework of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
Responsible institution: Stockholm University (SU)

Literature and teaching aids
Literature will be announced in connection to the start and communicated to enrolled students.


2023-08-29 - 2023-10-26

Course type



The course runs after 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in 2-3 hour sessions.

Course Number

KTH: ME2828, SSE: 8071, KI: 2XX048, KFK: SSES31, SU: FE6611


7.5 ECTS-credits

Taught At

Stockholm University

Swedish Course Name

Entreprenörskap i utvecklingsländer