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Transnational Asia Speaker Series: Juli Qermezi Huang | Women’s Entrepreneurship as Disruptive Development in Bangladesh
Women’s entrepreneurship has been a key strategy in international development and poverty alleviation initiatives for decades. Increasingly reorganised using models influenced by Silicon Valley-style notions of ‘disruptive innovation’, such projects require reformatting women into a specific style of entrepreneur with particular market-aligned skills, habits, and attitudes. Yet rather than providing game-changing business models that transform the ways in which the poor interact with markets and thereby improve their circumstances, these initiatives ‘disrupt’ women’s lives in ways that dislocate them from important social relationships and generate new and unsustainable forms of dependency. Focusing on Bangladesh – a country at the forefront of inventing market-based development models that hinge on the efforts of women – this talk will explore the meanings and experiences of disruptive entrepreneurship and compare them with the experiences of women who pursue income-generating activities more aligned with their own priorities of gaining self-reliance and renewing social ties.

Oct 15, 2021 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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Julia Qermezi Huang
Assistant Professor, Anthropology of Development @University of Edinburgh
Dr. Juli Qermezi Huang is an economic anthropologist whose research focuses on social enterprise and the use of new technologies, data, and markets for poverty alleviation. She is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh and a Fellow at the Edinburgh Futures Institute. She is author of "To Be an Entrepreneur: Social Enterprise and Disruptive Development in Bangladesh" (2020, Cornell University Press) and "Tribeswomen of Iran: Weaving Memories among Qashqa’i Nomads" (2009, 2014, I. B. Tauris). As a British Academy and Wolfson Foundation Fellow, she is embarking on a new research project on the everyday data practices of social enterprises in Bangladesh and Scotland.