Theorizing the Rise of Microenterprise Development in Carribean Context


  • Marina Karides University of Hawaii



Throughout the world development agencies and governments promote micro-enterprise development as a solution to the employment crisis and penury of the global south. But what brought about the unprecedented expansion and worldwide promotion of micro-enterprise development? As a case study on micro-enterprise expansion in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, this paper offers a grounded theory analysis based on semi-structured interviews with national and international officials active in micro-enterprise development. Themes drawn from the interviews demonstrate that the failure of past development policies and the neo-liberal response to these failures help explain why micro-enterprise development expanded vastly in Trinidad and Tobago. Theoretically, I draw from Luxembourg?s (1951) and Nash?s (1990) studies on subsistence or petty production under capitalism and the world-systems analysis of households (Wallerstein and Scott 1992a; 1992b) to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the expansion of micro-enterprise development under neo-liberalism globally. In this era, micro-enterprise development reflects two separate strategies of dealing with economic crises?informal or unwaged work and government transfer or social safety nets?merged into one.




How to Cite

Karides, M. (2010). Theorizing the Rise of Microenterprise Development in Carribean Context. Journal of World-Systems Research, 16(2), 192–216.



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