The Impact of Women-Led Business on Wellbeing and Community Resilience in Fiji

Savannah, Dantin
Cammock, Radilaite
Le De, Loic
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Masters in Disaster Risk Management and Development
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Auckland University of Technology

This study explores the multifaceted impacts of women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) on wellbeing and community resilience within the unique cultural context of Fiji. The research is grounded in the Fijian Value Systems Framework (FVSF) ensuring a culturally appropriate approach to the study from inception to completion. The Talanoa Research Methodology (TRM) was employed for data collection, fostering open dialogues with five women business owners in Fiji through talanoa conducted virtually over video conference for flexibility. The findings of this study reveal a positive correlation between social capital, characterized by strong social networks, and various dimensions of wellbeing. It is evident that social capital is not only crucial for personal wellbeing but also closely tied to business success, illustrating the interdependence of the individual and entrepreneurial aspects of life. Moreover, the research underscores the pivotal role of wellbeing in enhancing adaptive capacities and community resilience to disasters. In the Fijian context, this research underscores the significance of reciprocal solesolevaki, a partnership ethos that extends to relationships with family, friends, employees, and the broader community. This relationship is found to be essential not only for business growth but in a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters, highlighting the multifaceted factors of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Furthermore, the study emphasizes the cultural concept of bula sautu, or holistic wellbeing, as a unifying element that interconnects the various aspects of life, from individual health and economic success to community resilience. In Fiji, where tradition and modernity coexist, this research offers insights into how cultural values shape the dynamic relationship between women-led MSMEs, wellbeing, and community resilience in Fiji, ultimately providing valuable lessons for DRR practitioners, policymakers, business owners, and community members alike.

Keywords: Fiji; disaster resilience; community resilience; solesolevaki; partnership; bula sautu; holistic wellbeing; micro, small, and medium enterprise; social capital.

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