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Informal business and poverty in South Africa: Rethinking the paradigm

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Analysing policy discourse concerning the informal economy in South Africa, the article explicates in detail the paucity of (even ostensibly pro-poor) market-oriented prescriptions for enterprise development. The author presents the Sustainable Livelihoods approach as an alternative framework for understanding the informal economy and one more attuned to the realities of impoverishment, including its gendered dynamics. The paper concludes with brief reflection on some of the institutional implications of the Sustainable Livelihoods framework.


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