Dr Fiona Mulira
Makerere University Business School, Uganda
Dr Mulira's Fellowship falls within the field of entrepreneurship development, which has increasingly gained broad recognition as an important component of various policy agendas on poverty reduction across the world. Within this context, entrepreneurship learning and training is prioritized as a critical pathway to foster the creation of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries (United Nations Economic and Social Council, 2008). Similarly, the past decade has witnessed a wider acceptance of entrepreneurs with disabilities (Cooney, 2008) with specific emphasis on the entrepreneurial potential of Women Entrepreneurs with Disabilities (WEwDs) to economic sustainability (Majek, 2011; ODEP, 2005).
Businesses owned by women with disabilities in developing countries continue to operate as survivalist or necessity-based enterprises characterised by low levels of innovation and capital investment (Lewis, 2004; Vossenberg, 2013). As a result these enterprises run the risk of failing to achieve economic sustainability (Alvarez & Barney, 2014; Namatovu et al., 2012; Urban, 2010). This risk is possibly caused by gaps in existing legal and institutional mechanisms, diverse social and physical barriers in accessing resources, uncertain entrepreneurial environments, as well as lack of status for women with disabilities operating microenterprises in highly patriarchal societies (Lang & Muragira, 2009; Lwanga-Ntale, 2003; Namatovu et al., 2012). Specifically for East Africa, the multiple social identities of gender and disability compound the difficulties for women with disabilities to fully engage in political, economic, social and civic processes (International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 2018).
The research activities proposed will potentially contribute to empower women entrepreneurs with disabilities in developing economies through ingenious learning and training approaches that will enable them to manage sustainable businesses in a way that is uninhibited by impairment limitations and resource constraints. Dr Mulira's research will recommend ways in which the learning needs can be addressed for enterprise sustainability and contribute to the theory, policy and practice of developing learning support mechanisms for this category of entrepreneurs.
Dr Mulira is hosted by Dr Winifred Onyas (School of Business).