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Exploring Sustainability Orientation Of MSME-Owners In Tanzania

Emiel L. Eijdenberg

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This explorative study examines the performance, socio-demographics and sustainability orientation of owners of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises’ (MSMEs) in Tanzania, a Least Developed Country (LDC). Based on a literature review, a pre-study conducted with experts, and a main study of 168 MSMEs-owners in Morogoro, the analyses show that sustainability orientation is made up of four factors of which clearly one social factor and one environmental factor. Furthermore, in light of the literature, performance and socio-demographic factors are regressed on sustainability orientation and appear not to have a significant influence. However, at a granular level, there are certain effects observed from performance and socio-demographics on sustainability orientation. In contrast to previous research, this study presents fine-grained insights into how performance and sustainability orientation are developed and how the former determines the latter. In doing so, this study sheds light on entrepreneurship in the informal economy of an LDC, refines the understanding of the sustainability orientation of MSME-owners, and endorses the position that “one size does not fit all” regarding the applicability of Western constructs to LDC settings.