Public Policy, Collaborative Governance, and Female Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean: A Critical Assessment

Despite the growing implementation of entrepreneurial policies within the Caribbean and the recognition of the structural and relational challenges that impact women entrepreneurs, there is little discussion on the possibilities for using collaborative governance practices to empower and enhance the lives of women in that space. These gaps centre not just the inadequacies of the public policy process, but also those related to governance practices that underpin the contexts for women entrepreneurs. Where these gaps remain indicative of broader limitations within the ideological framing of managerialism within the public policy process, it is important to disrupt the political and social imaginaries embedded within the thinking and practices of female entrepreneurship within the region. The paper will therefore adopt a post-structural feminist approach and that of critical discourse analysis to assess the degree of consultation within the public policy process, the extent to which this identifies and addresses the concerns of women in the sector, and the implications for reframing public policy as a collaborative governance process. The intentions are both to illuminate the relevance of collaboration and participation within dialogue as an extension of consultation but also as a requirement for addressing matters of inclusivity, visibility, and equity within the public policy process.

Talia Esnard

Senior lecturer and current Head of the Department of Behavioural Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago

Talia Esnard (Ph.D. Sociology) is a senior lecturer and current Head of the Department of Behavioural Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago.