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How does energy matter? Rural electrification, entrepreneurship, and community development in Kenya

How does energy matter? Rural electrification, entrepreneurship, and community development in Kenya
How does energy matter? Rural electrification, entrepreneurship, and community development in Kenya

We examine the impact of rural electrification on individuals and businesses within a community in order to test a resource-based theory of entrepreneurship. We show that access to electricity increases average households’ income and entrepreneurial activities. The impact of electricity on entrepreneurial activity has wide-ranging implications for development policy in countries where access to electricity is sparse. Results show a significant difference in entrepreneurial opportunities with respect to firm formation, with the electrified site reporting more new micro-enterprises (33) than the control site (20) after implementation. Electrification affects both households’ income, individuals’ perceptions of their social position, and opportunities for business development. Individuals’ future expectations and entrepreneurial activities are enhanced in the community that receives electricity. We also find evidence that women-led households benefit from electrification more than men-led ones, but this benefit does not eliminate the difference in income between women and men-led household. We discuss implications of the study for entrepreneurship and community social development interventions.

Community development, Entrepreneurship, Experiment, Kenya, Microenterprise, Rural electrification
0301-4215
88-98
Vernet, Antoine
63d255ed-253a-4ddc-afbf-28a6db5f9a34
Khayesi, Jane N.O.
1327852a-8d8d-4d60-9525-da44fb37bbcb
George, Vivian
8bed999a-9c00-40f6-bf46-3f9778b0ce00
George, Gerard
9542d535-a99e-419f-b8bc-fbc210f22f76
Bahaj, Abubakar S.
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37
Vernet, Antoine
63d255ed-253a-4ddc-afbf-28a6db5f9a34
Khayesi, Jane N.O.
1327852a-8d8d-4d60-9525-da44fb37bbcb
George, Vivian
8bed999a-9c00-40f6-bf46-3f9778b0ce00
George, Gerard
9542d535-a99e-419f-b8bc-fbc210f22f76
Bahaj, Abubakar S.
a64074cc-2b6e-43df-adac-a8437e7f1b37

Vernet, Antoine, Khayesi, Jane N.O., George, Vivian, George, Gerard and Bahaj, Abubakar S. (2019) How does energy matter? Rural electrification, entrepreneurship, and community development in Kenya. Energy Policy, 126, 88-98. (doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2018.11.012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We examine the impact of rural electrification on individuals and businesses within a community in order to test a resource-based theory of entrepreneurship. We show that access to electricity increases average households’ income and entrepreneurial activities. The impact of electricity on entrepreneurial activity has wide-ranging implications for development policy in countries where access to electricity is sparse. Results show a significant difference in entrepreneurial opportunities with respect to firm formation, with the electrified site reporting more new micro-enterprises (33) than the control site (20) after implementation. Electrification affects both households’ income, individuals’ perceptions of their social position, and opportunities for business development. Individuals’ future expectations and entrepreneurial activities are enhanced in the community that receives electricity. We also find evidence that women-led households benefit from electrification more than men-led ones, but this benefit does not eliminate the difference in income between women and men-led household. We discuss implications of the study for entrepreneurship and community social development interventions.

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 20 November 2018
Published date: 1 March 2019
Keywords: Community development, Entrepreneurship, Experiment, Kenya, Microenterprise, Rural electrification

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426623
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426623
ISSN: 0301-4215
PURE UUID: f5a59f44-850f-46c8-9f9c-682ffd253462
ORCID for Abubakar S. Bahaj: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0043-6045

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 Dec 2018 17:30
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 01:32

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Contributors

Author: Antoine Vernet
Author: Jane N.O. Khayesi
Author: Vivian George
Author: Gerard George

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