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Women's resourcefulness in the informal economy : evidence from Jordan

Dajani, Haya and Carter, Sara and Williams, Colin (2015) Women's resourcefulness in the informal economy : evidence from Jordan. In: Exploring Resources, Life-Balance and Well-Being of Women Who Work in Global Contex. Springer-Verlag. (In Press)

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Abstract

In this chapter we explore the resourceful entrepreneurial activities of refugee and displaced women and thus contribute to enriching contemporary research about women and the resources they use to function in the work environment over their work lifespan. We also respond to calls for enhancing current understandings of entrepreneurship within the informal economy. Through a series of exploratory in-depth interviews undertaken in January 2013 with desperately poor, refugee and displaced women operating in Jordan’s informal economy, we uncover expansive resourcefulness in their entrepreneurial activities that helps them overcome the inadequacies and flawed strategies of international aid agencies that create turbulent competition among the ethnically diverse groups of refugee and displaced women. However, given that the women's socio-political positioning remains unaltered, we question whether entrepreneurial action is a sustainable, long term strategy for individual change.