Consumerism and Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Case of MMM

Consumerism and Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The Case of MMM

Adedayo Abinusawa (University of East London, UK)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7906-9.ch016

Abstract

Despite significant research on consumerism, little is known about its impact on entrepreneurial opportunity production. Where existing literature focuses on describing consumerism, this chapter investigates how consumerism can influence the production of entrepreneurial opportunity for some. The case study of Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM) is examined from secondary data sources (such as articles, journals, magazines, etc.) to obtain historical information. The analysis shows that by understanding consumerism, the individuals behind MMM were able to produce and exploit an entrepreneurial opportunity in different markets.
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Introduction

Consumerism, according to Wright and Rogers (2015), is the belief that personal well-being, to a large extent, depends on higher levels of consumption. This statement builds on Goodwin et al.'s (2008) argument that to say that some people have consumerist values or attitudes means that they always want to consume more, and that they find meaning and satisfaction in life, to a large extent, through the purchase of new consumer goods. This belief has inspired social movements seeking to increase the rights and power of buyers in relation to sellers (Kotler, 1971). There have been three key waves of anti-consumerism in modern times: the first emphasises value for money, information and labelling; the second stresses investigative anti-corporate work; the third focuses on global issues (New & Ramsay, 1997). These have been driven by the long history of organisations incorporating emancipatory ideals into marketing campaigns, often with limited transformative outcomes (Gbadamosi et al., 2018; Johnston & Taylor, 2008).

Entrepreneurs (i.e. entrepreneurial individuals and firms) can have transformative impact. Acs et al. (2013) illustrate this point in their paper on ‘the social value of productive entrepreneurship’. They showed that enterprises have had a profound impact on the world. Entrepreneurs can impact consumerism because where the market is not in equilibrium, profit opportunities exist, and entrepreneurs discover and act on these profit opportunities to equilibrate the market (Holcombe, 2003). By understanding consumerism, and societal concerns, entrepreneurs can produce better entrepreneurial opportunities. For example, Barksdale & Darden (1972) show that as public concern regarding consumer issues increases, the consumer forms definite opinions about business policies and practices, the consumerism movement, and government legislation. Hence, where consumer demand and market deficiencies exist, the entrepreneur, if s/he is to be successful, must fill in for them (Burg, Podoynitsyna, Beck, & Lommelen, 2012; Leibenstein, 1968). However, little is known about the linkages between consumerism and entrepreneurial opportunity. It is this gap in knowledge that this chapter aims to address.

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