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Patrick ShulistPatrick Shulist
Western University

Alternative Processes of Human Capital Formation for Developing Market Entrepreneurs

To get at the rich, complex, interwoven and path-dependent nature of human capital capitalization for entrepreneurs in the context of emerging markets, we take a qualitative approach that captures, through two sets of interviews, the life-journeys of entrepreneurs and the life-cycles of their ventures. Current theory surrounding sources of human capital in the entrepreneurial context serves as a starting point for theorizing from this data set, but given the paucity of process-based research on human capital formation, especially in extreme conditions, much of our theorizing is inductive. Our goal is to isolate key processes by which entrepreneurs continue to grow their human capital, especially when traditional sources are not available, or even denied.


I am entering my fourth year of the PhD program at Ivey, and expect to graduate in mid-2016. My research focuses on how entrepreneurs in the developing world acquire the human capital they need in order to start, run, and expand their businesses, despite being in situations that deprive them of many of the traditional mechanisms that developed-world entrepreneurs rely on. This stream of research takes place in Ghana, though I also have research experience Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania. Before starting the PhD program, I spent time working as an engineering consultant for two NGOs in Haiti, which is where my interest in development comes from.

On a personal note, I’m about as Canadian as can be, and though I don’t play hockey, I make up for this by drinking maple syrup every morning.