In this blog, MSC attempts to decipher the reasons why the poor wish to engage in unskilled labor and petty trade instead of running a higher-skilled business. We wanted to understand the challenges that they faced and the reason behind their reluctance, considering the better earning opportunity that owning a microenterprise offered. We sought answers by scrutinizing highly detailed records of respondents from low-income households in a “financial diary” research project in central Bangladesh. We analyzed the factors that led households to their occupations and how those factors influenced overseas employment, micro-enterprise ownership, and casual employments of the poor.

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