Home Awardee Profiles Laura Freeman, Victoria University of Wellington

Laura Freeman, Victoria University of Wellington

Laura’s research topic: Exploring the Realities of Doing Business for Marshallese Women Entrepreneurs

“My research was carried out in the Marshall Islands where I have been living and working for the past four years. I was lucky in that the pandemic didn’t impact my ability to carry out my research, but rather it worked in my favor and actually added value to my research and findings because all my participants were available for interviews (since they couldn’t travel) and, I could obtain extra insight into the realities of doing business during a pandemic (my data was collected between August – October 2021). My research experience was a very rewarding one, I felt as though my research participants enjoyed being interviewed and were generally very proud and happy to share their business story. I realised the inherent value of qualitative research too and enjoyed listening, transcribing and coding my transcripts as I was able to immerse myself in the stories and capture some really insightful, and I believe, very important quotes or testimonials from the participants. As a research topic not well explored, providing new knowledge on the experiences of Marshallese women entrepreneurs is something I would never have thought I would be in the position to provide to the academic community but I am very grateful for the opportunity. I would like to thank DevNet and MFAT for providing me the funding to carry out my research and of course to my supervisor Prof John Overton for providing me with continued support and guidance as I navigate my way through my first postgraduate research study. 

Laura Freeman, Masters Student in Development Studies, Victoria University of Wellington”

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