Sarah Brookes is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate at Nottingham University Business School, the University of Nottingham, UK. She holds a BA (English Literature) from Aberystwyth University, and an MSc (Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management) and MA (Social Science Research) from the University of Nottingham. Her current research interests include women in self-employment, low-income entrepreneurial households, and precarious working.

PhD Project – A Brief Summary

The overlap of household dynamics and entrepreneurial activity is acknowledged but under-researched in the entrepreneurship literature. Having reviewed literature on the gender dynamics and inequalities that can arise in households, Sarah’s PhD project focusses on a gap in understanding how low-income entrepreneurial households’ function when access to resources is restricted. The research intends to progress the debate by focussing on low-income entrepreneurial households through a gendered lens.

The project explores social constructs including gender and social positionality in relation to low-income households, and the socially negotiated interactions that take place at the level of the entrepreneurial household. It engages with theoretical discussions of precarity and intersectionality as a lens through which to view inequalities that manifest in the overlap of business and domestic activity. This specifically focusses upon experiences of low-income, self-employed women. It is argued that gender intersects with socio-economic class to position women in low-income households at a greater risk of disadvantage when undertaking forms of entrepreneurial activity. Consequently, the research seeks to examine how self-employed women alongside other adult members of the same household manage and negotiate business and domestic activities in a low-income context.