Open Access Article

Title: Contextual impact on indigenous entrepreneurs around the world: geographic location, socio-cultural context and economic structure

Authors: Prescott C. Ensign

Addresses: Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, 64 University Ave. W, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3C7, Canada

Abstract: The number of Aboriginal people in the world is greater than that of the USA and almost equal to that of the EU. Yet politically and economically, they are among the weakest. Entrepreneurship is viewed as a means of empowerment and wealth creation for Indigenous individuals and communities. This paper explores the impact that geographic embeddedness, indigenous cultural factors, and mainstream economic structures have to help or hinder starting and operating an Aboriginal business. A conceptual framework of these contextual factors was constructed as an analytical tool for a qualitative deductive examination of these dynamics in cases, studies, and reports of over 50 remote, rural and urban instances of Indigenous entrepreneurship in 12 countries. Findings strongly point to the interconnectedness of these contextual factors, which provide opportunities for greater leveraging of enterprise creation and development. A Western-Eurocentric perspective and focus on the dominant culture's business model cause the underutilisation of Aboriginal ways.

Keywords: indigenous entrepreneurs; Aboriginal businesses; embeddedness entrepreneurship; obstacles to indigenous business; indigenous culture; indigenous entrepreneurial ecosystem.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2023.131648

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2023 Vol.49 No.1, pp.150 - 186

Accepted: 23 Apr 2023
Published online: 21 Jun 2023 *