Publication Date

11-4-2007

Abstract

The Family Saving Account (FSA) of the Women’s Opportunity Resource Center (WORC) is a savings and match program to assist low-income, New Americans in achieving self-sufficiency. The Micro-enterprise Program offers individual business assistance for immigrant participants. This study investigates how WORC’s programs assist Indonesian immigrants. Using the qualitative approach and applying in-depth interviews, key informant, positive deviance, and observations, this study examines how the programs of WORC create social and economic opportunities for Indonesian immigrants in the US. The results of this research are as follows: 1) the FSA and the micro-enterprise program of WORC are very good and help participants who are new immigrants to the US; 2) when they first arrived, almost all participants experienced some difficulty in finding opportunities for financial success in the US; 3) to face these challenges and improve their economic life, they have worked hard, become involved in American society, found information from different resources, gotten good jobs and better immigrant status, and increased their incomes; 4) economic reasons, as well as social and political problems, are some reasons that brought participants to the US; and 5) positive deviance inquiry discovered important keys to differences in the success of some participants. To do anything to get started in business requires a huge effort and mental capability. This research might be applicable for developing FSA and the Micro-enterprise Program to help immigrants to become self-sufficient in the US, especially for WORC or other similar NGOs. For future research, it would be interesting to compare the application of FSA and the Micro-enterprise Program in the US with similar programs in a third world country.

Disciplines

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations

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