British Journal of Canadian Studies

Young urban Aboriginal women entrepreneurs: social capital, complex transitions and community support

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2012), 25, (1), 1–19.

Abstract

The employment pattern of young people is particularly significant for the economic, social and cultural vitality of urban Aboriginal communities. This study of young women entrepreneurs focuses upon the role of social capital in transitions to self-employment. It considers how social capital operates through networks within and between groups, has effects which are positive and negative in youth transitions, assists personal development and contributes to the community. The complex transitions of young women into self-employment occur at the same time as educational careers and family responsibilities are developing. Support for young Aboriginal people seeking self-employment is provided through a number of government-supported programmes. Focus group discussions, with young women whose businesses are predominantly in creative and cultural industries, reveal the role of social networks within Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities in their development and demonstrate their commitment to giving something back to their communities through their businesses.

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Todd, Roy