50th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Sustainable Regional Growth and Development in the Creative Knowledge Economy", 19-23 August 2010, Jönköping, Sweden
São Tomé e Príncipe is a small insular country located in the Gulf of Guinea, populated by 160000 persons, living in 1000 square kilometers of a rainforest environment. The GDP pc is 1200 US$ per year, 50% of the economy is based in auto-consumption and the main engine of the remaining economic system is the external public debt, rents from promising oil, and donations (50%), complemented by tourism, cacao exports, private transferences, and other exports. To understand the role of local entrepreneurship in the compliance of the often expressed Dubai Gulf of Guinea dream we undertook a Q Method approach to identify three main perspectives on the development of the archipelago; symptomatically, none of them were connected to the improvement of tourism, cacao exports or private transferences. In the paper we address the mismatch between long term dreams and short term attitudes of the entrepreneurs in small and remote regions and countries, also putting into scrutiny the role of external support in that mismatch.