This paper documents the rise of entrepreneurs in rural Tibet, a process that started in the 1980s and then gained considerable momentum in the wake of China’s Develop the West Campaign that was launched in 2000. The authors describe economic transformations in rural Tibet from 1959 to the present, and present case studies of entrepreneurs to show how some Tibetans are capitalizing on new economic opportunities that stem both directly and indirectly from the government’s development policies. Whereas many critics allege that China’s development initiatives do not benefit rural Tibetans, or do so only marginally, today’s rural entrepreneurs illustrate how some Tibetans are successfully negotiating the new matrix of opportunities. However, because Tibet’s economy is highly dependent on government investments, it is unclear whether the increase in entrepreneurial activities is sustainable over the long-term. Nevertheless, the case studies presented in this paper demonstrate several entrepreneurial pathways to upward mobility that are currently available, including farm-based initiatives, construction contracting, cottage industry, and retail business.
Childs, Geoff; Goldstein, Melvyn C.; and Wangdui, Puchung
"An Entrepreneurial Transition? Development and Economic Mobility in Rural Tibet,"
HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies: Vol. 30
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol30/iss1/13