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Creating Livelihoods: Indian Women Entrepreneur Networks in the Context of Poverty Open Access

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This dissertation seeks to examine poverty alleviation from the ground-up. First it conceptually introduces and develops the concept of livelihood entrepreneurship. I argue that livelihood entrepreneurship differs from other forms of entrepreneurship, due to the entrepreneur's goals in the context of poverty. I ask research questions using network theory and stakeholder theory explaining how livelihood entrepreneurs may find success and lift themselves out of poverty. Second, the dissertation delves into a qualitative study of female livelihood entrepreneurs associated with SEWA (Self-Employed Women's Association), in the context of impoverished communities in and around Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India. I look at what types of skills the entrepreneurs gain by the SEWA intervention and how the women build their networks in order to succeed and sustain their enterprises in the Indian context. Third, I propose hypotheses, set up a quantitative demonstration via social network analysis and test my model by looking at how specific social capital resources of an Indian woman entrepreneur living in poverty relate to change in her family's livelihood.

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