Cheese in Chijnaya: Communal Entrepreneurship in Rural Peru

  • Ralph Bolton
  • Jhuver Aguirre-Torres
  • Ken C. Erickson

Abstract

Individual entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship may be more common both in daily life and in the research literature, but community- based entrepreneurship also plays an important role in economic development. We present a case study of community entrepreneurship in a rural area of the Andes, where the community of Chijnaya operates a successful cheese production business. Buying milk from its farmer members in the community, the business produces cheeses that are sold in regional urban markets and beyond. This account draws on decades of ethnographic research and collaboration with the community. Here, we discuss the history of the community in general and of the cheese enterprise in particular. The organizational structure of the business is outlined along with a description of the production processes. We end with an analysis of problems faced by the community in moving the enterprise forward toward a more profitable future and a discussion of the relevance of this case to entrepreneurship studies.

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Published
2019-11-14
Section
Themed Articles