This paper provides an introduction to this special issue of small business economics dealing with the (long-postponed) integration of entrepreneurship into the discipline of development economics and casting a formal light on the role of entrepreneurship in developing countries. The paper departs from the premise that with more than a billion people living in absolute poverty, it is of great practical importance to understand if and when entrepreneurship is a binding constraint on economic development and catching up in developing countries. This in turn requires at least a deeper theoretical modeling of the entrepreneur in development economics. This special edition contains a number of contributions emanating from the unu-wider project on promoting entrepreneurial capacity, which integrates the disciplines of entrepreneurship and development economics. These contributions model and explore the role of the entrepreneur in key areas of concern for development economics, such as structural change and economic growth, income and wealth inequalities, welfare, poverty traps, and market failures. This introduction discusses and contextualizes these various contributions and their implications for further theoretical and empirical work.