"You know, the guy who manages this market doesn't have any idea about our work, all the things we have to do to get the fabric rolls, zippers. I work, like, sixteen hours a day and besides that, we pay other workshops that work for us. That is the truth. And we risk a lot every day."


Franco, textile entrepreneur and workshop owner, 45 years old. Lives and works near the marketplace.


"By concentrating on enterprises where proprietors are actively engaged in the labor process, even if only to the extent, for example, of producing prototypes or setting up the equipment during product shifts, the assumption about the sharp boundary between capital and labor, so common in the discussion of globalization, is brought into question. By being productively engaged on the workshop floor, the petty capitalist may be able to emphasize the commonality of purpose with workers, and also has considerable advantages in surveillance of the labor process. Seen positively, reduced separation between labor and management creates opportunities for gradual improvement of production processes through mobilization of tacit knowledge available to workers, and for flexible resolution of conflicting demands characteristic of a business environment."


Alan Smart & Josephine Smart. Petty Capitalists and Globalization. Flexibility, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development.

Using Format