The survival strategies of immigrant, asylee and refugee women in times of economic crisis: a social enterprise environment in the United States
This research examines the experiences and perceptions of immigrant and refugee women social entrepreneurs located within a context of economic instability, as well as the strategies that they develop to cope with such crises and volatility. To conduct this research I used a mixed-method, qualitative approach to data collection, including semi-structured, open-ended interviews and a focus group. I used feminist theory and a grounded theory approach to inform the design of my study; as such I acknowledge the participants as knowledge producers and allow for them to add in questions to the interviews and focus group and to comment on drafts of the written portion of the dissertation. The findings have indicated that these women are surviving the economic crisis by combining different income streams, including social entrepreneurship, traditional jobs and state and non-profit-aid. Moreover, the participants have found that besides monetary value, social entrepreneurship also provides alternative benefits such as personal sovereignty in their work environment, work-life balance and well-being. Also, personal history, and family and community embeddedness contribute to women's decisions to pursue social entrepreneurship. This research contributes to the growing body of research on gender and work and fills the gaps in literature currently existing in social entrepreneurship.