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The Socially Empowering Impact of Entrepreneurship: A Study on Urban Ugandan Women
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Gender equality and women empowerment are two of the most up-to-date concerns on the international arena today. Several methods are being adopted with the aim to allow women’s equal social, economic and political participation. Entrepreneurship has been highlighted as a useful tool to foster women’s empowerment and hence the promotion of entrepreneurship has become a prominent approach in modern development efforts.


In Uganda, women constitute the majority of the informal labour force and are widely engaged in micro-business activities. Thus, this ethnographically inspired research aimed to assess if entrepreneurship can contribute to increased social power among female entrepreneurs in urban and suburban Kampala, Uganda. To do this, John Friedmann’s (Dis)empowerment model has been used as the main frame of interpretation. To fit into the context of women, it has been complemented with a gender analysis in order to identify the structural inequalities that may constrain the empowering impact of entrepreneurship.


This research was carried out as a field study in Kampala City and in three Kampala suburbs: Kyaliwajjala, Kireka and Kinawataka. It was financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and was conducted during nine weeks in September-November 2014. In total, 45 interviews were carried out with local business women as well as with local representatives and stakeholders in women entrepreneurship and women empowerment.


The conclusions drawn from this study is that entrepreneurship has contributed to increased social power among the women participating in this research, but that traditional gender norms and structures can constrain the empowering process. Greater economic responsibilities have not eased women’s obligations in the domestic sphere and thus created a double burden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
women empowerment, African business-women, gender inequality, macro-buisness, entrepreneurs, Friedmann, productive and reproductive work, petty trade
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39821OAI: diva2:787321
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
2015-01-19, Växjö, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2015-02-17 Created: 2015-02-09 Last updated: 2015-02-17Bibliographically approved

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