Businesses cluster to achieve agglomeration benefits. However, research in developing countries suggests that the economic environment limits small business’ propensity to benefit from agglomerations. The study examines the location, networking patterns, formal structures and owner characteristics of 1256 micro businesses from ten industries and thirteen sample areas in Toluca, Mexico. First, the thesis analyses whether clustering has a positive impact on the success rates of the surveyed enterprises, e.g. higher sales per employee. On an industry scale only Retail benefits from agglomerations economies. However, results of the neighborhood data show that specific areas benefit from urbanization economies. Overall, the study finds that businesses located within agglomerations, have higher levels of formalization, networking and professional training, hence constituting a more sophisticated base for economic development. Conclusions can be drawn for development policies and programs, arguing for a more differentiated approach of small business development depending on business location and cluster characteristics.
Living the vast majority of my life in an area that celebrates diversity but thrives because of illegal cross-border activities (undocumented workers, drug imports) at times the distance between the United States and Mexico is in fact as thin as the width of a fence. Though it is typical for a filmmaker to hope to present a unique take on a subject, given how I have seen the topics of immigration and the perspective of the purpose of homeland security portray, I am confident that there is an opportunity to show these issues in a more personal, less aggressive light with the use of first person accounts instead of a dependence on the most violent aspects of these topics. The main subject will give character to this agency by blurring the lines of his life as an agent and as a citizen.