Chapter published in the Handbook of Climate Change Resilience

This chapter contributes to the literature on private sector adaptation by empirically exploring how female-led micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSMEs) in Kenya’s semiarid lands (SALs) experience and respond to climate risk. The chapter argues that strong sociocultural orientations around gender roles and resource use and access not only confine female-led MSMEs to sectors that experience higher exposure to climate risk – most notably agriculture – but also trigger more pronounced barriers to building resilience within their businesses, including reduced access to land, capital, markets, new technology, and educational opportunities. Faced by these barriers, female entrepreneurs may pursue unsustainable forms of coping, as part of which business activity is scaled back through reduced profits, loss of business, and the sale of valuable business assets. Such strategies may help enterprises to cope in the short term but may undermine longer-term MSME adaptive capacity. Social networks, such as women’s groups and table banking initiatives, appear to be crucial adaptation tools. Additionally, a strong dependency exists between household resilience and business resilience, implying that building resilience at the household level could support adaptive capacity among female-led MSMEs. Supporting the adaptive capacity of women in business should be a policy priority.

Atela J., Gannon K.E., Crick F. (2018) Climate Change Adaptation among Female-Led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Semiarid Areas: A Case Study from Kenya. In: Leal Filho W. (eds) Handbook of Climate Change Resilience. Springer, Cham

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