Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Course Description:

Entrepreneurship, i.e. the creation and growth of new businesses, is at the heart of Schumpeter’s process of ‘creative destruction’ and is widely viewed as a process generating employment, income and economic development. For developing and least developed countries alike, policies are designed to stimulate the start-up of new firms and even more importantly, the evolution of small business into a larger size and operating with more advanced technologies. But while the importance of entrepreneurship for employment and income generation is well supported, not all entrepreneurial undertakings appear conductive to economic growth. Indeed, many developing countries have large informal economies, where turnover of micro-businesses is overwhelming, yet not generating stable and high-quality jobs. Many small firms have difficulties in evolving into medium and large size, encountering important barriers to entrepreneurship and growth. Personal, cultural and institutional factors influence the allocation of entrepreneurial talent and the survival and growth performance of the entrepreneurial firms, determining the contribution of entrepreneurship to growth. The course will offer online lectures, online discussion boards, assignments, weekly tutorial meetings to discuss readings and assignments, and an oral exam at the end of the course.

Course outline:

The course is designed to study a number of topics in this field of the literature to enable the student to understand the research debate and policy discussions on dynamic entrepreneurship and private sector development. In particular, the following topics are addressed:

Unit 1: Introduction: Entrepreneurship, economic growth and development
An introduction to the research questions and concepts in the entrepreneurship literature, and a discussion on the role of entrepreneurship for economic growth.

Unit 2: Micro-economic drivers of entry and firm growth
Discussion on the determinants of entry and growth of firms.

Unit 3: Topics in entrepreneurship research
Students pick one particular topic of their choice out of a set of 6 topics that they study more in detail.

Unit 4: Entrepreneurship policy discussion
Discussion on the trends in the entrepreneurship policy debate; the justification of entrepreneurship policy interventions and best practices in entrepreneurship policy.

A Master degree (or equivalent) in Social Sciences

Course completion, ECTS, edubadges and estimated workload:
The course is completed once you fulfill the course requirements and pass the assignments and the oral exam. Your coursebook will also include the explanation of resit options. Participants will receive 2 ECTS equivalence credits and the certification will be offered through an online educational badge. The estimated workload is 60 hours, including 10-15 hours per week and 10-15 hours per assignments/oral exam.

500 euro

Required Readings:
The cost of the course does not include expenses for books or hard copies of the course material. Course materials can all be downloaded by the participant him/herself.

Starting date, enrollment time and payment:

Individually decided.

Upon a successful enrollment, every participant will start the course on an individual basis, immediately after the acquisition of the course materials. Your tutor will reach out to you to agree on a timeline.

You will be enrolled for 10 weeks, including 1 week to access the platform and become familiar with the materials, 4 weeks of coursework, 2 weeks to do the oral exam and 3 weeks for potential resit time. In case you prefer to use the 10 weeks in a different way, please agree with your tutor during your first exchange.

To pay the tuition fee, please make the transfer to the following account. Upon payment, you will be registered as student, and contacted by your tutor. On average this takes 1-2 weeks.

Bank account no.
IBAN NL05 INGB 0657 618705
Swift or BIC code INGBNL2A
Beneficiary Maastricht University
Bank name ING Business Banking
Bank address P.O. Box 90153
5600 RE  Eindhoven
The Netherlands
Payment specification your last name and

Download the coursebook

Shuan SadreGhazi – Course tutor

For fostering entrepreneurship in developing countries, and informing policy on that topic, we need to go beyond the buzzwords. In this course we will get a better understanding about the drivers and challenges of entrepreneurship, and the interplay of economic, institutional and cultural factors that support or hinder it in the context of developing countries.

Shuan SadreGhazi, UNU-MERIT