Paula Nagler

The role of innovation in household entrepreneurship

Paula Nagler, researcher/Assistant Professor/Team Lead Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

CLOSER CITIES aims to create a bridge between urban science and urban practice. By collecting cases on urban practice, analysing them on the shoulders of urban science and sharing research outcomes, urban knowledge becomes shareable. In the ‘5 questions’ series, we ask scientists to briefly reflect on their research and the shareability of their insights and projects.

1. What is the main focus of your research (topic, theme, region)?

Economics: labour markets, entrepreneurship, informality, inequality, (inclusive) innovation Region: Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa (but also with some experience in Asia)

2. Can you give a brief description of your research?

Two lines:

  • The role of innovation on inequality (different regional contexts)
  • Household entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa

3. How much influence does ‘local context’ have in your field of work? Can results or solutions from your research be shared with other regions easily?

Certainly to some extent - it depends also on how broadly (or narrowly) a region is defined, and if other similar regions exist.

4. What are the main lessons learned that can be used by urban initiatives?

  • Innovation can lead to disruptions than can lead to e.g. higher inequality; but measures exist to account for these (e.g. social safety nets, training, education)
  • Urban informal entrepreneurship faces different challenges compared to rural entrepreneurship. These should be identified, and policies developed that can tackle these specific challenges.

5. How do you think cities can implement these lessons?

Closer cooperation between research and practice is key.