I have been studying entrepreneurs in developing countries for about two decades. Initially my work was with incumbent enterprises, often in the form of large family-run businesses. Along the way, though, it was curious to see how the new kids on the block nonetheless forced their way into contention, despite having the deck stacked against them. Established companies had much readier access to scarce money and talent, and they knew how to deal with often-corrupt corridors of power. But that did not stop new entrepreneurs from finding chinks in the armor of the old guard.

Then, less than a decade ago, I began supporting young entrepreneurs ...

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