Moving from voluntarism, they developed entrepreneurial activities that provided a significant number with a steady profit, income, and social prestige. They were all married, only one couple remained childless, and the majority were arts or science graduates from India or East Africa. Six of the eight had spouses who were professionals, managers or businessmen. They had to convince sceptical husbands to give them the freedom to work, against the gaze of a disapproving community that saw art and music as merely a source of cheap titillation.
Playing music, dancing, and practising other Indian art forms were held in high familial esteem, as long as they were combined with marriage and education. At the outset, especially, expressions of disapproval and prejudice from other community members rather than access to finance or networks constrained their endeavors. This differed depending on what you were, Sikh or South Indian or Muslim, but by and large, it applied to all of them. All began with their own money, obtained through informal rotating credit associations or their husbands. This may account for their more pronounced condemnation of community conservatism, rather than the institutional racism one might have expected.
While most said their husbands did not mind their late evenings, public visibility, or erratic schedules, they were the target of community gossip. Exceptionally, one woman, a beautician who often attended late night pre-wedding mehndi henna rituals, was verbally abused by her husband for acting immorally and reported to the V. Eventually she left him to run a successful beauty parlour with her daughter while the latter was pursuing her musical career. Their main concern was the next generation see also Tran and Nguyen, They responded to market demands, incorporating a variety of South Asian and non-South Asian styles, such as hip hop or salsa, into dance or music.
One entrepreneur extended her informal wedding party planning by importing saris and other accoutrements for Punjabi weddings on her bi-annual trips back home. Her work has taken her all over Britain, to Canada, India and Malaysia. One woman was a self-employed professional. This not only provided a secure income, it often financed their start-ups. Work-related resources also expanded social networks beyond immediate friends and family. She ran a regular spot on a local black community radio ethnic programme.
Another established her network over several years as a bharath nathyam teacher, while working for the municipal authority. Her cultural shows and reputation as a dancer created links to the local Arts Council. She formed a dance company that trains dancers, coordinates dance programmes, and advises administrative staff on grant applications. Many worked towards integrating, mainstreaming or developing their cultural products to bring prestige, support systems and developmental resources to British South Asian cultural workers. Pioneers had to overcome religious and regional rivalries between South Asian groups in their attempts to carve out entrepreneurial niches, not only for themselves but for younger British South Asians in the arts, broadcasting and dance.
One entrepreneur recalled the cultural politics of programming. They differed from women whose presence in business is part of a cohesive family strategy, or who are motivated by labour market disadvantages. Their aspirations embraced the needs of their children and the local community, and they often began with voluntary involvement in community-based organizations. Throughout the interviews it appeared that the value of their work was measured by aesthetic and social yardsticks, rather than solely by earnings.
Their role was that of cultural navigators moved by a deep sense of social responsibility. They appropriated dominant discourses of motherhood and domesticity to justify their independent activities, rather than flouting them. They established music and dance workshops for deaf, poor and marginalised children. They provided community culture services and artistic products, free or for nominal pay.
Her efforts and the campaigning of two of the other pioneers on a variety of political issues surrounding race and assimilation pre-dated more formalised institutional agendas and public policies centring on access and representation of excluded social groups Malik, In the s these saw the introduction of a number of ethnic programme units and training schemes. The Broadcasting Act obliged terrestrial television to outsource at least twenty five per cent of their programming.
This led to an upsurge in single project-led commission structures, resulting in a workforce taking on freelancing, part time and short term contract work rather than salaried employment Malik, This institutional change affected the experiences of the remaining two generational cohorts in the media. University graduates in their mids or s cited being blocked in their salaried employment as the primary reason for taking up self-employment.
Women working in broadcasting typically moved frequently between employment on short-term contracts and freelancing, from pitching programme ideas for commissioning, to writing for radio, television, print or the internet, editing, reporting, news reading and producing programmes simultaneously. They came to the media at a time of revived dynamism and interest in black cultural production and arts, with public institutions and broadcasting bodies such as Channel 4 and BBC making special minority provisions, training and cultural diversity in-house requirements.
Even in the absence of family role models, trainee internships with community radio stations or local workshops in libraries or colleges provided basic skill-training in broadcasting and production, which spurred their media career. One entrepreneur had helped a friend mae a government-funded community project-video about Asian suicides. Their decision to go freelance or form their own production company was moved by deregulation and technological innovations, leading to fragmented niche markets and market-orientated public broadcasting. Unlike the first generation, they wanted to be respected for their professionalism rather their expertise on:.
The main barrier was exclusion from mainstream job opportunities. The top of the BBC is very white. This, coupled with the strains of working unsociable hours and forfeiting marriage or partnerships, motivated some women to seek regular salaried employment with more job security in the hope that by building solid reputations over time, they would be better placed to propose, develop and present favoured projects. After years of successful careers, some women yearned to return to more traditional gender relations. One woman quit a salaried job, anticipating the inevitable downsizing in the industry.
Those who tended to favour freelancing had families, sometimes extended, with family incomes, so money earned was not their only consideration. These thrive on the visibility of Asian cultural products and consumer markets and celebrities in the public sphere. Not only talent or demand for exotica Hutnyk, 12 , but unprecedented ethnic minority media growth underpins the enclave: 18 dedicated TV channels, six commercial radio stations, publishers and websites, all seek to extract advertising for the two million-strong British Asian consumer tastes, over 50 per cent under the age of While some view this deregulation as damaging, others welcome its opportunities.
The increased need to multi-task short-term contracts, project-based employment, investing time and money in building networks, were rarely perceived as arduous or exploitative but more as necessary and even enjoyable. Common to these younger women was their conscious drive to carve out a somewhat unconventional career trajectory that by necessity required multi-tasking, voluntarism, internships, and different jobs and forms of payment.
In part this may be because opportunities in the media have expanded so dramatically: satellite and cable television and radio, the internet and other forms of the new and ethnic media, advertising and marketing, have prised open the cultural industries. For many, being stereotyped as Asian no longer mattered. For all the women in the youngest age cohort volunteering at local and college radio stations, attending local workshops, involvement in student union activities, newspapers or college radio, networking and unpaid work experience built up their resumes for good media jobs.
They stressed college friends, colleagues and industry co-workers, as well as their own determination, but rarely a college counsellor or family friend as important sources of motivation, information and networks. This impelled them to seek new opportunities or develop resources for other Asian women facing a glass ceiling: training, mentorship and conferences Pollard et al. The most pressing problem for all generations was access to commissions, grants, business advice and support.
For women seeking contracts in large media institutions such as Channel 4 or the BBC, a common complaint was that commissioners tended to evaluate their capabilities on the basis of their ethnicity and gender. Some spoke of nepotism in freelance contracting, making it harder to enforce equal opportunities policies.
For others, deregulation meant career and business opportunities. In collaborating with the WIA Foundation, we are proud to support these women entrepreneurs who are shaping the Africa of tomorrow. How to help girls and women in Africa connect with market needs? How can they be transferred from the world of work to that of management? Should we focus on digitizing schools?
2. Charlotte Aubin
Should we develop artificial intelligence? How can they be integrated into the ecosystem of excellence schools at the global level? These are questions that the participants of the second edition of the Women in Africa World Summit will try to answer at the end of September in Marrakech. WIA Initiative is the first international platform focusing on economic development and support for African women with strong potential as leaders.
Supporting women who are disrupting the future of the continent through technological innovations has become a solid and sustainable investment for African and international economies. This is why the Women In Africa WIA Foundation launched an unprecedented project on 12 April to create its first class of female entrepreneurs, from the 54 countries of the African continent. This is a key step for the global platform dedicated to the economic development and support of leading and high potential African women. Entrepreneurs are faced with liquidity constraints and often lack the necessary credit needed to borrow large amounts of money to finance their venture.
The studies fall into two camps: the first camp finds that taxes help and the second argues that taxes hurt entrepreneurship. Cesaire Assah Meh found that corporate taxes create an incentive to become an entrepreneur to avoid double taxation. Donald Bruce and Mohammed Mohsin found that it would take a 50 percentage point drop in the top tax rate to produce a one percent change in entrepreneurial activity.
Factors that may predict entrepreneurial success include the following: .
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