Informal microenterprise in the North End community : Springfield, MA
Author(s)Kumar, Tara, 1976-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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The North End community in Springfield, Massachusetts is one of many communities across the United States that is struggling with how to improve its economic health. Traditional economic indicators, which emphasize the weaknesses of low-income communities, fail to capture the importance of informal economic activity in the development of these neighborhoods, particularly the North End. This thesis explores the nature of informal economic activity, specifically informal microenterprise, present within the North End community as a means for understanding its economic reality and supporting its continued development. The study considers how Springfield's existing microenterprise service system can be modified to maximize the role of informal businesses in the economic development of the North End. Data collected from North End business owners suggest that there are a number of dynamic yet informal enterprises operating within the community. Informal businesses do play an economic role in the community, and many are positioned to increase the impacts they have on the North End with goals of growth and formalization. However, these businesses also have specific needs that require assistance. Because the microenterprise development system in Springfield fails to respond to these needs, recommendations are offered at the conclusion of this thesis for how to more effectively support informal economic activity in the North End.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-109).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.