Entrepreneurs in the Dark. The Impact of Fragile and Hybrid Governance on Lebanese Entrepreneurship – A Case-Study of the Electricity Sector
Vol. Volume 18, Number 3 September/2013
Governance is often treated as a ‘black box’ explanation for entrepreneurial development. In order to improve our understanding of how governance influences entrepreneurship it is instructive to consider how entrepreneurs function under so-called fragile or hybrid governance. In this exploratory article I provide an overview of the governance-entrepreneurship nexus in Lebanon. I argue that although Lebanese entrepreneurial attitudes appear very positive, entrepreneurial activities seem adversely impacted by governance challenges and entrepreneurial aspiration is underdeveloped. In-depth interviews with Lebanese experts show that Lebanese entrepreneurs face significant obstacles, often related to the fragile governance context and hybrid governance system. The article highlights the issue of high utility – specifically electricity – costs as a case-study of how governance affects entrepreneurship. I show how fragility and hybridity – through violent conflict and sectarian oligopolies – generate a protracted situation of high electricity costs that undermine entrepreneurial activities. The article ultimately shows, first, not merely that, but precisely how governance matters for developmental entrepreneurship and, second, why conceptual distinctions between internal and external factors shaping entrepreneurship are untenable.
Lebanon; entrepreneurship; governance; fragility; electricity