Original Research

Looking under the veil: Challenges faced by people with disabilities in cross-border entrepreneurship

Keresencia Matsaure, Agness Chindimba, Felistas R. Zimano, Fayth Ruffin
African Journal of Disability | Vol 9 | a645 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v9i0.645 | © 2020 Keresencia Matsaure, Agness Chindimba, Felistas R. Zimano, Fayth Ruffin | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 2019 | Published: 02 September 2020

About the author(s)

Keresencia Matsaure, Mufakose Mhuriimwe High School, Harare, Zimbabwe
Agness Chindimba, Deaf Women Included & Centre for Special Needs Education, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Felistas R. Zimano, Department of Human Resources – PPA, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
Fayth Ruffin, School of Management, IT and Governance, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Cross-border entrepreneurship is one source of livelihood that is transforming people’s lives, especially those with limited resources and educational qualifications and those in need of supplementary earnings to complement meagre formal earnings. However, despite strides made to make this avenue worthwhile, this Zimbabwean study shows that hidden hindrances still persist from procedural and structural barriers from road entry point management systems. To people with disabilities (PWDs), the impact of these hidden barriers is severe to the extent of obstructing their optimum progression into cross-border entrepreneurship.

Objectives: This article sought to interrogate some veiled challenges in border management systems affecting PWDs’ quest to venture into cross-border entrepreneurship. This angle has, to this end, been timidly addressed as most organisations and legislation have concentrated on making things work for the majority of the populace.

Method: Qualitative phenomenological method in which researchers’ lived experiences, review of literature, ideas and opinions is complemented by secondary survey data from a road entry point management system study in the Zimbabwean setting.

Results: Cross-border entrepreneurship has potential to transform people’s lives: 1) road and border management systems’ procedural and structural complications present hidden challenges impeding PWDs’ entry and optimum participation in cross border entrepreneurship, 2) people with disabilities are not automatically dependents; in fact, most have dependents looking up to the, 30 social construction of disability persists and must be curbed and 4) there is a need to institute a ‘stakeholders triad approach’.

Conclusion: The existing road entry points’ management systems are not informed by considerations from PWDs, hence the existence of hidden challenges. Cross-border entrepreneurship can open significant livelihood avenues to PWDs. A stakeholders ‘triad-approach’, proposed herein, can solve some of the policy discrepancies as it recommends utilising inputs from PWDs, research and policy-makers.


PWDs; disability entrepreneurship; PWD’s empowerment; trade facilitation; cross-border trade


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