Unboxing Entrepreneurial Motivations in Tanzania: Business-related and Personal-related Factors

Gorah K. Abdallah, Enno Masurel, Wim A. Naudé, Emiel L. Eijdenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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An increasing number of researches has explored entrepreneurial motivations in terms of either opportunity, necessity or a mix of these two, in emerging contexts such as informal economies of Least Developed Countries (LDCs). However, research has stopped short exploring entrepreneurial motivation beyond these three previously mentioned types. This study expands the distinction of opportunity, necessity and mixed motivations in LDCs by exploring additional underlying dimensions. Based on a literature review and a qualitative pre-study with experts on the spot, 170 informal entrepreneurs in Tanzania were surveyed with a questionnaire covering 30 items measuring entrepreneurial motivations. The analyses unbox entrepreneurial motivation in two new distinctive types: those motivations related to the business and those related to the person. On a general level, this study follows up on the increasing call for contextualization of entrepreneurship research. On a more granular level, this study contributes to the existing literature of entrepreneurial motivation, especially in LDCs, by providing detailed insights of two motivation types of informal entrepreneurs in their consideration of shifting to the formal sector. Moreover, detailed pertinent information of the informal entrepreneurs is described, providing a closer look at an LDC’s informal economy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-78
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of African Business
Issue number1
Early online date31 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Entrepreneurs
  • necessity motivation
  • opportunity motivation
  • pull factors
  • push factors


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