Entrepreneurship-based factors to foster climate adaptation among Indigenous communities

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2024-01-25
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Virginia Tech
Abstract

Entrepreneurship-based factors to foster climate adaptation among Indigenous communities Indunil Prabodha Dharmasiri Ebawala Pitiyalage ABSTRACT (ACADEMIC) This thesis investigates the factors that cause the emergence of entrepreneurship to foster climate adaptation responses among Indigenous communities. These factors can influence, enhance, or degrade the potential for entrepreneurship in the climate change adaptation context. While these factors are well-studied for non-Indigenous communities, they remain understudied for Indigenous communities' contexts. The objectives of this study are to identify the factors that shape the emergence of entrepreneurship to foster adaptive responses to climatic risks faced by Indigenous communities and to assess the identified entrepreneurship-based factors through a case study. I followed a two-stepped methodological approach through a systematic literature review and a case study analysis among Sri Lankan Indigenous 'Vedda' communities. The systematic review included 65 peer-reviewed articles from the Web of Science and Scopus databases, and the case study analysis involved 90 in-depth semi-structured interviews with nine Indigenous communities in Sri Lanka. I found 15 entrepreneurship-based factors that shape the emergence of entrepreneurship to foster climate adaptation. I categorized those 15 factors under five key themes. They are learning (crop failure, learning, prior entrepreneurial experience), institutions (social networks, institutional support, overcoming the agency-structure paradox), place (resource (un)availability, location, environmental risk factors), capacity (access to information, entrepreneurs' psychological traits, access to capital) and strategy (business characteristics, product range, market characteristics). I applied these factors to the Sri Lankan Indigenous community context and assessed them through case studies. My study frames the potential of entrepreneurship to foster climate adaptation among Indigenous communities. Further, the study provides insights for scholars, practitioners, and policymakers in making climate change adaptation-related Indigenous policies and broader-level applications, such as the development of new adaptation measures to reduce the risks of climatic changes through entrepreneurship.

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Entrepreneurship, factors, ideation and action, Indigenous peoples, climate change adaptation, Vedda
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