Entrepreneurial Activity Among Irish Traveller Women: An Insight into the Complexity of Survival

Thomas M. Cooney, Dennis FOLEY

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Since the 1960s, Ireland has experienced massive economic and social upheaval as it distanced itself from what was previously an agrarian economy. This chapter explores the environment in which Traveller women pursue their entrepreneurial activities, the challenges that they face and their ambitions for the future. Within the context of the social environment in which this chapter explores, there are inextricable linkages between the ideology of particular historical moments in Irish cultural evolution and the identity from which Traveller women practice entrepreneurship. The amalgamation of the Traveller living space with its economic environment illustrates the complexity of the cultural history of enterprise and existence, since the two are usually combined into one within the Traveller community. The analysis found that Irish Traveller women entrepreneurs in general displayed intelligence and enhanced skills in opportunity recognition, together with business experience. The Traveller businesswomen were proud of their identities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Global Female Entrepreneurship
EditorsColette Henry, Teresa Nelson , Kate V. Lewis
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781317744924
ISBN (Print)9781138015180
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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