Laurel Steinfield completed her DPhil in the Marketing Department at the University of Oxford, Saïd Business School. She has worked on numerous projects in emerging markets in Africa, studying entrepreneurialism, consumerism, and the effects of development. Her work in Africa began in 2005 when she was elected as a Young Canadian Leader for a Sustainable Future, receiving funding from CIDA to support efforts to improve corporate governance in South Africa.
Her present work focuses on how the private sector can affect society by providing employment and integrating small-scale entrepreneurs into supply chains, but also by giving people in emerging economies an opportunity to choose and buy goods. She studies the benefits and unintended consequences resulting from these actions.
She has a special focus on women empowerment. Her current research projects include: a study that is developing a measurement system to gauge the impact of Walmart’s Empowering Women Together program on alleviating multiple-dimensions of poverty, including social isolation; and an intervention study in Uganda that seeks to measure the effects of sanitary pads on increasing a girl’s agency and tenure in education. She is inspired to do research that contributes to enabling women to reach their full potential.