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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Entrepreneurship and poverty reduction: A study of resettled internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sri Lankan post-war zones
Author(s): Gunasinghe, Nanayakkara Palliye Arachchige Saminda
Supervisor(s): Simmons, Richard
McCall, Vikki
Keywords: Entrepreneurship
Entry barriers
Poverty reduction
Poverty traps
Capability approach
Post-war zones
Internally displaced persons (IDPs)
Issue Date: 17-Nov-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis provides an insight into entrepreneurial dynamics and poverty reduction in Sri Lankan post-war zones (PWZs) where entrepreneurs from resettled internally displaced person (IDP) communities depend upon enterprise activity to escape poverty. Here, entrepreneurship is linked to the capability approach and poverty traps in understanding the role of entrepreneurship in reducing poverty. Barriers to market entry and innovation are discussed, together with micro-level poverty traps that help to understand the local economic development (LED) of PWZs. The empirical findings reveal that outcomes of entrepreneurship in PWZs are largely subject to factors outside the control of entrepreneurs, arising from structural elements, thereby highlighting the importance of agency-structure arrangements in the role of entrepreneurship. It seems that GOSL was unable to balance security-development needs in PWZs, to a greater extent. The militarization of PWZs has contributed to predatory behaviour by public officials and substantially curtailed the entrepreneurial space, thereby restricting the role of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, GOSL was largely unable to capitalise on the unique window of opportunity presented by the end of the armed conflict, where resettled IDPs had to start their livelihoods from a point of ‘zero’. This was mainly due to inability to link urgent humanitarian needs with long-term development needs to the GOSL-led relief, recovery and reconstruction response (RRR). The RRR response also did not adequately embed entrepreneurship on a substantial scale that could have positive outcomes for communities. PWZs could benefit from focusing on deagrarianization of the local economy. The empirical evidence established entrepreneurship is a favourable way of enabling structural adjustments in local economies. The interventions are required to enable the transition of largely semi-formal enterprises in PWZs to formality so as not to enlarge the informal sector. The empirical evidence demonstrated being an entrepreneur allows people in poverty to escape poverty traps, earn an income that supports lifestyles as well as to be able to participate constructively in their respective communities. As a result, there are advantages of being an entrepreneur, which help them in an increased level of choice and the ability to live lives they have reason to value even in constrained post-war contexts.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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