Entrepreneurial team making bricks


The Partnership has been created to advance knowledge and understanding of entrepreneurship as a vehicle for poverty alleviation. We seek to encourage individual and collaborative efforts by universities, colleges and other organizations to conduct scholarly and applied research, develop case studies, design teaching and intervention tools, organize public forums, and pursue community engagement initiatives centered on poverty and entrepreneurship. Our focus is on poverty alleviation in both developed and developing economies.


Poverty is pervasive throughout the world. While an array of approaches to poverty alleviation has been instituted and billions of dollars are spent each year, entrepreneurship has not historically been viewed as a core part of the solution.  Both as a means of subsistence for those in poverty and as a pathway out of poverty, venture creation has historically received relatively little attention from scholars, and insufficient attention from those involved with public policy and community action. This is changing, however, as a growing number of scholars, government officials, leaders of NGOs and non-profits, and other stakeholders seek ways to increase levels of entrepreneurial activity and develop the entrepreneurial capacity of those in poverty. Yet, there is a strikingly limited amount of data on such basic questions as the rate at which those in poverty start ventures, categories of ventures they create, venture failure and success rates, the amounts of growth these ventures achieve, the direct and indirect benefits and costs such ventures have both for the individuals involved and their communities, and the relative efficiency of these ventures. In addition, the kinds of institutional arrangements, public policies, and intervention programs that are most effective in fostering successful venture creation by the poor—and how these vary by context—are not well understood. This state of affairs results in lack of clarity regarding a) priorities when it comes to both scholarly and applied research; b) preferred approaches when it comes to public policy formulation; c) best practices when it comes to working with the poor on venture creation and growth, and d) the kinds of resources and tools available to those who seek to foster higher and more successful rates of entrepreneurship among the poor.  As interest in this arena continues to grow, we can make bigger advances if there is more communication, coordination, sharing and collaboration among all interested parties. 

Coordinating Institution

The partnership shall initially be based in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame.  Any questions about GPPE or information submissions should be emailed to mmorri24@nd.edu or mailed to Global Partnership for Poverty and Entrepreneurship, McKenna Center, c/o Dr. Michael Morris, 3169 Jenkins-Nanovic Halls, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN  46556 USA.