Skip to main content
Business & entrepreneurship, Conferences & lectures

Andrew Charman - Investigating entrepreneurship and business in informal spaces

Date & time
Friday, May 3, 2024
10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Andrew Charman


This event is free


Social Justice Centre


John Molson Building
1450 Guy
Room MB 6.240

Wheel chair accessible


We are please to welcome Andrew Charman for his talk: “I’m selling beer. Don’t tell anyone.”: Investigating entrepreneurship and business in informal spaces.

Join us for this talk organized by Joel Bothello and co-sponsored by the Concordia University Research Chair in Resilience and Institutions and the Social Justice Centre.

About the speaker

Andrew Charman is a researcher, social entrepreneur, and development practitioner. He studied sociology and economic development, focusing on the African context, and obtained his PHD in Social and Political Studies from Cambridge University. Over 20 years of research, academic writing, community engagement and development practice, he has specialised in understanding micro-enterprises and economic exchanges in informal settings. Along with colleagues at the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, an organisation based in Cape Town, he pioneered a series of area-based studies of business activities in South African townships. This research, undertaken in 10 townships, is featured in the book Township Economy. The book explores the socio-cultural, spatial and entrepreneurial practices at the heart of the township economy.  This work has been advanced through collaboration with scholars at Concordia and McGill University.

His research interests have been influenced by a fascination with the geographies of entrepreneurship and emerging markets in informal spaces. Through this lens, he has sought to explore these subjects at various scales, from area wide perspectives to the infrastructures that respond to and shape business opportunities, to the intricate social and cultural dynamics of business paces. This research has sought not merely to reveal hidden practices and validate entrepreneurship in informal city contexts, but to highlight challenges and articulate opportunities for supporting inclusive economic development. Drawing on an extensive body of primary research and using evidence to offer new insights into the dynamics of informal economies, he has sought to shape policy thinking and inform development strategies. Building on this learning, he has piloted business development support approaches suitable to micro-enterprises in resource poor settings. His current professional work focuses on supporting metropolitical municipalities to develop and implement strategies to stimulate area-based economic development and social transformation.

Back to top

© Concordia University