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Trapped in ideology. The limitations of micro-finance in helping women creating viable micro-businesses

Desmedt, Emmanuelle (2010) Trapped in ideology. The limitations of micro-finance in helping women creating viable micro-businesses. PhD thesis, University of York.

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My research asks whether or not micro-finance represents a viable alternative to waged employment for women, as is the current international policy claim. To answer this question, I compared the accounts of 22 micro-finance agency employees in the UK and in Belgium with those of 20 self-employed women who received support from these agencies. The results suggest that there are major differences between what most agency employees imagine being problems for women in self-employment (e.g. lack of confidence, lack of training), and what women actually ex- perience (e.g. competitive markets pressures, low-profit sectors, insufficient regular unpaid helpers in their businesses). The data collected among these 20 women has also revealed that most self-employed women earn low or no income in self-employment, and wage employment would represent a better alternative to meet their needs. My thesis is that the individual’s quest for self-fulfilment at work and the current political argument for the increase of economic growth through micro-businesses have favoured the idealisation of both self-employment and micro- finance for women.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > The York Management School
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.535071
Depositing User: Miss Emmanuelle Desmedt
Date Deposited: 16 May 2011 09:33
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 12:20
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1464

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