Work on the edge: Enterprise and employment between city and countryside
Regional Professional Studies
Regional Professional Studies CSESS
An interest in the microenterprise finance movement's proposals to increase income and employment in poor local economies led to this study of a Latin American barrio marginal in miniature. The article explores the main income-generating activities of Upper Barrio Japón residents and their adult children, and their use of the plentiful microenterprise finance services on offer in the city of Sucre, Bolivia.
The article concludes that microenterprise, often at very small scale, is an important economic strategy for many local residents, but that casual labour and long-distance migration is often more important for young people. Local microenterprises cross urban, suburban and rural markets, but tend to focus on small scale activity: rustic production and retail commerce. Children study, but are entering a very circumscribed range of occupations, with little representation in the professions or skilled trades.
Finally, local people use microenterprise finance services, but only sparingly; the ingredients for economic transformation would appear to be elsewhere.