Space and Workplace Issues for Nepalese Female Entrepreneurs

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This paper, by Ms Reema Thakur and myself, has been accepted for presentation at the forthcoming ICGBE conference to be held in Bangkok in June.

Abstract:

Most of the literature focusing on the work and aspirations of female entrepreneurs has been produced by and about a western environment and context. Comparatively little literature has been produced within the sphere of management studies about the particular issues facing women entrepreneurs in terms of aspirations, work-life balance and general operational issues. Among the problems facing Nepalese women wishing to work outside the house is the issue of being seen in public and interacting with strangers in public places while remaining decent and respectable. Some public spaces are considered suitable for women to occupy and this can vary because of the powerful caste, class and ethnicity issues that colonise Nepalese society, This paper investigates the different strategies that a sample of Nepalese female entrepreneurs have used to negotiate their presence in public spaces and the censure that they might experience if they are perceived to have overstepped the limits of propriety. This includes the work of street vendors and other entrepreneurs. Data is provided by personal interview as well as ethnographic observation. This provides recommendations for both the women involved and also public policy.

Keywords: entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, Nepal, public space

Reema Thakur and John Walsh

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