New Research on Venture Creation in the Wake of Disasters Shows Victims Must Be Involved in Shaping their Own Recovery
“Disaster events threaten the lives, economies and wellbeing of those they impact,” said Williams. “Our research builds on recent studies that demonstrate the value of entrepreneurship in society. It’s not always about pursuing high-growth, high-revenue businesses. Entrepreneurship also serves as a vehicle for generating positive social outcomes.”
In the study, Williams and Shepherd explored venture creation that locals in Haiti initiated in response to suffering following the 2010 Haiti earthquake. They found that sometimes the most efficient solutions, such as donation of funds and resources, are not always appropriate given the various stages of the recovery process. Long-term solutions must involve those who have an investment in the disaster area and are focused on transformational change as a way forward following the crisis.
“Many actions of first responders may appear helpful at first but our study found that they can create negative outcomes despite those good intentions,” said Williams. “This is because those who are suffering must have a role in getting themselves out of that suffering. When they are invested, they can engage in activities that produce positive, long-term and transformational change for their communities.”