Using social identity theory and social capital theory as a backdrop to understand the context of subsistence marketplaces, this study investigates how rural micro and small businesses engage in marketing practices and how poverty reduction policies affect micro and small business activities and growth. The results show that rural micro and small businesses weave morality and religiosity into their commercial activities and survive in a competitive subsistence marketplace by engaging with social networks, relationships with customers, and relationships with staff. The interdependence among these relationships contributes to the competitive positioning of the business and its intelligence gathering. Despite the existence of government programs to fund micro and small business startups, most owner-managers use social networks to initially fund and grow their businesses. The paper ends with implications and future research directions.
- marketing practices
- rural micro and small businesses
- public policy
- subsistence marketplaces
- qualitative research