Motivated by Experience? A Narrative Study on the Influence of the Afghan Refugee Context on Becoming an Entrepreneur in the Netherlands

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This research project aims to understand how the Afghan refugee context affects the motivation of Afghan immigrants to become an entrepreneur in the Netherlands. According to prior research, it is essential to take into account the personal- and environmental context of these entrepreneurs, and how they use it in their daily life. Through sixteen narratives of Afghan refugee entrepreneurs, in-depth information was obtained which provided insights into the motivation process of these entrepreneurs. The results showed that an entrepreneurs’ context affects their motivation on multiple levels, and thereby proves that motivation is personal related. First, the motivation of the Afghan refugee entrepreneurs is influenced by their context. Their motivation can be linked to the context of their identity as Afghans and as refugees. Living in a dynamic environment influences their choices and determines their life path, but also makes their motivations change over time. Secondly, the experience and circumstances of Afghan refugees seem to play a role, as their context lowers the barrier for becoming an entrepreneur in the Netherlands. Thirdly, their context ensures they develop particular skills which lower this barrier and increase their opportunities for creating a successful business. Lastly, the interplay between the personal- and environmental context appears to be an important influence in their motivation to become an entrepreneur. For entrepreneurs it is a real advantage to have a network that allows them to embed themselves in Dutch society, especially when they are about to start their own business. This research shows the practical importance of helping entrepreneurs when embedding in the Dutch entrepreneurial environment. Moreover, the experience of living in such a dynamic environment and using this in the concept of mixed embeddedness contributes to their future success in their business.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen