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Using Social Entrepreneurship to Reverse Barriers to Socio-economic Youth Participation: An Example from Zimbabwe

Enterprise and Economic Development in Africa

ISBN: 978-1-80071-323-9, eISBN: 978-1-80071-322-2

Publication date: 11 June 2021


Structural violence (SV) is related to the uneven distribution of resources which then leads to social exclusion and marginalisation of people. Johan Galtung (1969) also refers to it as social injustice and it is characterised by unequal access to education, health, water, food, shelter and other basic services. SV manifests itself through different forms of exclusion supported through both public and private institutions. Without support to address economic and educational opportunities, Zimbabwean youth continue to experience SV and high levels of social inequality (Chimucheka, 2012). Conflict transformation (CT) can help address SV since it provides processes and ways to build something desired thus altering the manifestation of the conflict (Waldman, 2009). CT involves action between parties that leads to both social change and justice (M. Evans, 2016). Social entrepreneurship (SE) can be used as a CT tool because it (i) identifies an unjust equilibrium that perpetuates exclusion and marginalisation, (ii) identifies opportunities and innovatively challenges the status quo to add social value and (iii) provides a better future for the marginalised communities through creating a new and stable alternative equilibrium (Baporikar, 2016). This chapter discusses the SV transformation model which the author tested to address the disparities faced by youth in an urban area in Zimbabwe. The action research, which took place between January and May 2017, was carried out in combination with capacity building, social support systems and community participation to address some of the SV indicators prevalent in the community. Whilst SE showed great potential in tackling SV in the community study, findings also reveal contestations between theory and practice. Some of the barriers identified in the field include the community’s failure to self-organise, lack of financial resources and buy-in from the local government. Future research could test the model in multiple settings and over longer periods to see its effectiveness.



Musarurwa, H.J. (2021), "Using Social Entrepreneurship to Reverse Barriers to Socio-economic Youth Participation: An Example from Zimbabwe", Nziku, D.M. and Struthers, J.J. (Ed.) Enterprise and Economic Development in Africa, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 193-210.



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