Contribution to a Special issue Celebrating Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen's 75th Birthday
Co-authored with Thomas Gries, the paper argues that the capabilities approach (CA) is a useful point of departure to formalize entrepreneurship in the theory of human development. They illustrate, using the CA, that entrepreneurship is both a resource and a process, contributing towards expanding other human capabilities and means.
These include providing the ability to work, to earn income, and to accumulate wealth. Being entrepreneurial can also in itself be a valued human function. They illustrate that this valuation of entrepreneurship depends on whether people have agency. Where entrepreneurship is a necessity or is forced, it ceases to be a valued function. This can often be the case where people cannot access formal waged employment (perhaps due to insufficient skills, or lack of employment opportunities) or where their efforts to start up a new firm of their choice is obstructed. Thus, the value of entrepreneurship would be reflected in whether people have the choice not to be an entrepreneur.