Very little is known about the micro-level foundations of entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) (Bruton, Ketchen, & Ireland, 2013). Micro-level processes at the BOP remain especially overlooked in the context of opportunity evaluation, despite of its’ critical role in the entrepreneurship process (Wood & McKelvie, 2015).

It is generally agreed that opportunity evaluations are future-focused judgments (Haynie, Shepherd, & McMullen, 2009; Williams & Wood, 2015) because an individual has to imagine what the future returns could be if (s)he actually exploited the opportunity. However, individuals at the BOP who experience extreme resource constraints tend to be so much focused on present problems of scarcity (Mani, Mullainathan, Shafir, & Zhao, 2013), that they neglect future issues (Shah, Mullainathan, & Shafir, 2012).

Nevertheless, many individuals at the BOP do run their own enterprises, meaning that they must have gone through a process of opportunity evaluation to decide to exploit “Opportunity A but not Opportunity B” (cf. Haynie et al., 2009). This raises an important question on which we focus in this study: How do individuals at the BOP evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities?