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Subsistence Entrepreneurship and intersectional Inequalities: A Case Study of women from Pakistani urban-poor districts

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>13/02/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date13/02/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The study adopts an intersectional approach to identify the key dimension(s) that reproduce inequalities in women's subsistence entrepreneurship within urban-poor settings in the global south.

The in-depth case study is based on 44 semi-structured interviews and four focus-group discussions with women entrepreneurs based within urban-poor dwellings in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The authors contribute to the literature by identifying how intersecting socio-class and socioeconomic inequalities, and patriarchal norms of izzat (meaning: honour, respect) and purdah (or veil), perpetuate disadvantage for women entrepreneurs producing and/or selling business goods and services.

The findings challenge the view of entrepreneurship as a meritocratic and neutral activity for social emancipation. The authors argue that multiple social hierarchies and inequalities operate simultaneously, but how these are understood, exercised and reproduce disadvantage for women entrepreneurs, depends on their social class. The authors propose a triple bind of domestic, market and societal inequalities as a heuristic framework for understanding intersecting inequalities, patriarchy and subsistence entrepreneurship in Pakistan, specifically the global south.