Entrepreneurial Political Action in the Informal Economy: The Case of the Kumasi Petty Traders

Arielle Badger Newman, Jay B. Barney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper develops a new concept, entrepreneurial political activity based on corporate political activity to understand when an entrepreneur, representing both the firm and the individual simultaneously, will engage in political activity. The case of petty traders in Kumasi, Ghana generates grounded theory of entrepreneurial political activity. Faced with an existential threat, informal entrepreneurs had to decide whether to try to influence government policy by engaging in political activity. Findings from over 200 interviews demonstrated entrepreneurs carefully considered the state’s willingness to allow for the extra-legal economic activity in the informal economy to continue, and if they had trust in the leadership of the collective action before engaging in political action. Policy saliency motivating action was determined by growth orientation and dependency on the venture for household survival, both driven by the entrepreneur’s social role in the social system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-34
Number of pages32
JournalEntrepreneurship: Theory and Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • corporate political action
  • entrepreneurship
  • informal economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics


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