Self-employment: a key to the unemployment challenge during the new normal in Abra, Philippines
Keywords:self-employment, business, lived experiences, livelihood, qualitative-narrative research design, philippines, asia
People faced unemployment issues as an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study examined entrepreneurial livelihoods as a potential source of income for aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses to address the issue. This study employed a qualitative-narrative research design with a phenomenological approach, involving one focus group discussion with 12 participants and in-depth interviews with ten informants from Bangued, Abra, Philippines, micro-enterprise owners. The results of the study reveal that the lived experiences of the experienced entrepreneurs in overcoming poverty and establishing micro-business ventures exemplified how entrepreneurial ventures assist and contribute to Abra, Philippines' unemployment solution. Participants are overcoming these challenges by operating micro-businesses such as food selling, consulting, personal services, pet care, retail, home-based online business, rental business, events business, agri-business, summer events, recycling, printing, health and beauty, tourism, rent-a-car, home repair and improvement, and real estate. Among the study's implications are a well-established and viable livelihood intervention program by the local government aimed at alleviating unemployment; and the government's provision of seed capital to beginning entrepreneurs in collaboration with its lending institutions. Comparative studies on the lived experiences of workers in the manufacturing, service, and retail sectors may be highlighted and used as valuable data sources to validate the findings of this study.