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"The trajectories of refugee entrepreneurs"
Event details of ABS Strategy & International Business Seminar with Rebecca Reuber (Toronto University)
12 October 2023
11:30 -13:00
Hybrid from REC M4.02


The paper seeks to advance our understanding of the entrepreneurial trajectories of refugee entrepreneurs. We conducted a qualitative, six-year longitudinal study of the entrepreneurial trajectories of Syrian women refugees resettled in the Global South and examined how their trajectories unfolded over time. Our data reveals that refugee entrepreneurship can be theorized as a distinct type of entrepreneurship that occurs during forced displacement. Forced displacement results in entrepreneurial trajectories dominated by three factors: (a) vulnerability to particular types of events that destabilize the trajectory by increasing subsistence earnings required and/or decreasing earnings generation capacity; (b) a situatedness in an initial neighbourhood of settlement; and (c) a tight coupling of enterprise and family goals, choices and outcomes.  We build on these insights to develop a model of refugee entrepreneurship, which differentiates growth, survival, and failure, and where trajectory outcomes vary by the geographic spread of the enterprise. In particular, we highlight the importance of the neighbourhood for further work in this area. Although growth was rare among the entrepreneurs we studied, the survival rate was high and it is striking that participants were able to keep their enterprises going so long with so little. We discuss the implications of this theorization, suggest promising directions for future research on refugee entrepreneurship, and consider the boundary conditions and limitations of our research.

General information:

Attendance to this seminar is possible by invitation only. Please send an e-mail to secbs-abs@uva.nl if your are interested in attending this seminar.

Roeterseilandcampus - building M

Room Hybrid from REC M4.02
Plantage Muidergracht 12
1018 TV Amsterdam