Profile - Alice Acejas
Fax: + 61 2 492 17818
Alice is a Ph.D. candidate supervised by Professor Stephen Webb and Professor Mel Gray. Since the mid-1980s, she has been an NGO worker in the Philippines. She has seen various economic development models, both alternative and mainstream, implemented in urban and rural poor communities with varying degrees of failure and success. It is easy to despair or become cynical but she remains hopeful that the Philippines will someday become a country wherein economic injustice, social exclusion, human rights violations, are mere concepts discussed in the past tense.
Reflexive Entrepreneurship and its Meanings
The research proposal takes off from her master’s thesis on a nascent association of Filipino micro and small entrepreneurs where she studied its organising philosophy and socialisation process. In this study, the concept of reflexive entrepreneurship emerged. Reflexive entrepreneurship is described as both a state of consciousness and process. As a state, it means being conscious of the interconnection between the personal and public milieux and the need to take collective action as a sector to effect socio-economic change. As a process, it means continually engaging in reflection, action and reflection using the organization’s worldview and vocabulary. As a result, the members’ awareness and knowledge of business and society expands and they become proficient thereby strengthening their identity as growth-oriented entrepreneurs fully embedded in Philippine society.
Using a qualitative methodology, the research explores the experiences of social enterprises and their partner entrepreneurs in developing a culture of growth-oriented and reflexive entrepreneurship in the Philippines. It asks: (i) How is reflexive entrepreneurship fostered? (ii) How do research participants negotiate and mediate a reflexive entrepreneurship worldview? (iii) What are the social and economic changes engendered: for the social enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, their family, community and other stakeholders? (iv) What are the implications for development work; for policy makers, local and international development agencies, and organizations that provide business development services?