Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 31, 2020

Proceedings of the Thirty-First Annual Meeting

Jay Joseph, Harry Van Buren IIIOrcid-ID
Pages 50-63

A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Peacebuilding

Conflict Zone Entrepreneurs (CZEs) include local businesses operating in conflict settings, which represent the dominant form of employment in poverty-conflict scenarios, often hosting the most vulnerable in society who live on the poverty line. Despite their importance in the peacebuilding equation, little is known about their role in the peacebuilding process, with a variety of ad hoc contributions from assorted fields often assuming peacebuilding links with entrepreneurship, with little empiricism to support these claims. Consolidating prior works, the paper appropriately positions entrepreneurship as a community-level peacebuilding mechanism, presenting a framework that identifies the major entrepreneurial typologies that are present in conflict zones. Entrepreneurs are characterized as being either peacebuilders, destructive entrepreneurs, or ingroup and intergroup contributors. By presenting the paradoxical impact of CZEs, the paper identifies inclusivity and responsible practices as the central factors that determine whether an entrepreneur will be peacebuilding, or destructive.