Bridging the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Gap for Women With Disabilities in a Globalized World

Bridging the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Gap for Women With Disabilities in a Globalized World

Victor Mafone Alasa, Jonathan Chitiyo, Zachary Pietrantoni
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9542-8.ch007
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The challenge before both the general and special education teacher in the 21st century is that of enhancing the engagement and full participation of all learners, irrespective of their disabilities, in societal functionalities, thereby building inclusive communities for global citizenship. This attainable ideal will be possible as people, especially women with disabilities, are accorded the opportunities to thrive, compete, and achieve their dreams in a world where the odds are stacked against persons with disabilities, especially in developing countries. This chapter explores the idea of equalizing opportunities for women with disabilities through the vehicle of entrepreneurship education. It delves into discourse on the intersectionality of gender, entrepreneurship, and disabilities, including the challenges, possibilities, new thinking, and the imperatives for gender-inclusiveness in entrepreneurial education in a globalized society. It emphasizes this training dimension to guarantee women this population's independence, empowerment, survival, and profitable and engaged living.
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Entrepreneurship should be prioritized because of the social value it brings to bear within the socio-economic ecosystem in a world that calls for the inclusion of persons with disabilities within the generic framework of the society. This paradigm shift could be made possible by leveraging the platform of entrepreneurship for this population, especially for women with disabilities. Entrepreneurial education for women with disabilities will foster global citizenship through effective participation, engagement and contributions of this population that are susceptible to social and economic exclusion. Therefore, when women with disabilities get involved in concerted entrepreneurial ventures in the labor market, the proliferating consequence of this value is explicitly overwhelming in community, in general, and in the collective of women with disabilities. Entrepreneurial engagement of this vulnerable group is often precursor to independence in all its ramifications, social security and societal placement and participation in the decision-making processes. Although, as appealing as these reasons might be, in terms of influence on women with disabilities to venturing into entrepreneurship, they are noted also to be likely motivated by different factors. One of such alluded to is the benefits that self-employment leverages in the entry into the labor market as employer discrimination is frequently reported (Blanck et al., 2000; Boylan & Burchardt, 2002; Hagner & Davis, 2002; EMDA, 2009).

The socioeconomic outputs of individuals are severely impacted by the prevalence of any form of disability, and more significantly the labor market participation. People with disabilities, and even more, women with disabilities, face many barriers in the labor market and disability is consistently found to have a negative effect on labor market outcomes, including employment rates and earnings (Jones, 2008; Berthoud, 2008; Meager and Higgins, 2011; Lechner and Vazquez-Alvarez, 2011). Research abounds in this dimension of effect of disabilities: for instance, the variations in disability (i.e., type, severity, quantity) influence labor market participation rates, types of occupation and earnings (Jones, 2008, 2011; Berthoud, 2008; Meager and Higgins, 2011). Additionally, according to Berthoud (2008), Meager & Higgins, (2011), physical impairments exert a substantial negative impact on employment prospects, as well as mental health challenges and learning difficulties. Same Meager & Higgins (2011) reiterate that employer discrimination is a strong influence on the supply of jobs for disabled people, although employer perceptions about individuals’ capacity to work may diverge considerably from their actual capacity to work.

The risk of poverty, according to Hauben et al., (2012), in the EU, for instance, is significantly higher for disabled people than for people without disabilities – 21.1% of disabled people face that risk, compared to 14.9% of people without disabilities. The main reason for this disparity can be found in the low employment rates of disabled people, which are a cause for and/or a consequence of their social exclusion (Greve, 2009; Hauben et al., 2012). If this data is anything to go by, much will be desire about the data of women with disabilities from these same climes and not to even mention from developing countries. Worth acknowledging is the fact that most countries, especially developing countries, have taken a strong position to support the active involvement of people with disabilities in society and the economy; hence, the claim of this chapter is that entrepreneurship provides the leeway for this engagement in society and economy to create a smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth, especially for women with disabilities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Disability: A physical or mental condition that limits a person's functioning. It is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).

Inclusion: The philosophy of including every human being regardless of disability in the society.

Entrepreneurship: Engagement in free, legal economic activities targeted at meeting the specific services and goods needs of a people within a market construct, with the sole aim of making profits that guarantees self-development and financial independence.

Digitalization: The application of digital technology in all aspects of human society and activities.

Globalization: The word used to describe the growing interconnectedness and interdependence of the world's economies, cultures, and populations, brought about by cross-border trade in goods and services, technology, and flows of investment, people, and information.

Global Citizenship: The concept for political, social, economic, and environmental, motivated actions of globally minded persons and communities on a worldwide/global scale.

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