Entrepreneurship in a Restructuring Economy:
Small Private Manufacturers in Hanoi

Stephen J. Appold
H. John Heinz School of Public Policy and Management (then)
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA  15213-3890
Nguyen Quy Thanh
Department of Sociology and Psychology
University of Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam
John D. Kasarda
Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3440
Le Ngoc Hung
Department of Sociology (then)
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210

Several theorists have suggested that entrepreneurship is a viable route of employment and wealth generation for developing countries as well as the mature economies of industrialized countries.  The restructuring economy of Vietnam provides an interesting opportunity for the study of entrepreneurship because, although the needs are great, the formal and informal infrastructure to support emerging small businesses is lacking.  We assess the role of entrepreneurship in a restructuring economy through a survey of 124 small-scale manufacturers, located in Hanoi.  We find the entrepreneurial sector to be generally healthy.  Productive entrepreneurship is open to a wide range of individuals and not limited to those privileged by the former system.  Informal mechanisms, discussed in the literature on industrialized countries, are able to overcome many of the barriers to entrepreneurship.  We find, however, that the bases of competitive advantage for individual enterprises to be poorly developed, suggesting a somewhat limited long range contribution to economic development.

Journal of Asian Business  12 (4):1-31 (1996)

Return to index
Return to Stephen Appold