Defying the odds? Multiple disadvantage as a source of entrepreneurial action

Hussain, Sundas and Vershinina, Natalia and Carey, Charlotte (2024) Defying the odds? Multiple disadvantage as a source of entrepreneurial action. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research. ISSN 1355-2554

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Purpose: The link between entrepreneurial intention and positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship for established and nascent entrepreneurs has been well documented in the extant literature, with Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) viewing entrepreneurial intention as a prerequisite for entrepreneurial pursuit. Whilst scholars generally agree on these insights, little empirical evidence exists on how marginalised social groups can convert their intentions into action. This study aims to understand to what extent the elements of TPB: the attitudes towards entrepreneurship, self-efficacy and subjective norms, help explain the emergence of entrepreneurial activity amongst marginalised demographic groups.

Approach: This research focuses on unemployed women residing in social housing located in a deprived urban area of the UK to empirically examine how multiple layers of disadvantage faced by this group shape their motivations and intentions for entrepreneurial pursuit. A multi-source qualitative methodology was adopted, drawing upon inductive storytelling narratives and extensive fieldwork on a sample of unemployed ethnic minority women residing in social-housing in a deprived urban area of the UK, community organisation representatives and housing association employees within the social-housing system to assess the interpretive capacity of TPB.

Findings: The findings display that TPB illuminates why and how marginalised groups engage in entrepreneurship. Critically, women's entrepreneurial intentions emerge as a result of their experiences of multiple layers of disadvantage, their positionality and the specificity of few resources they can activate from their disadvantageous position for entrepreneurial activity.

Originality: By illuminating the linkages between marginalised women's positionality and their associated access to the limited pool of resources using the TPB lens, this study contributes to emerging works on disadvantaged populations and entrepreneurial intention-action debate. This work posits, that despite facing significant additional challenges through their positionality and reduced ability to mobilise resources, women in social housing can defy the odds and develop ways to overcome limited capacity and structural disadvantage.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
13 December 2023Accepted
7 May 2024Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: Women entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurial intention
Subjects: CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-01 - business and management (non-specific)
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-09 - others in business and management
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > College of Business, Digital Transformation & Entrepreneurship
Depositing User: Charlotte Carey
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 14:35
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2024 14:46

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