A shift in the narrative. Exploring good practices in supporting refugee entrepreneurship
Refugee entrepreneurs have been and continue to be an increasing component of cities across the world and in the European Union (EU). Likewise, the EU encourages member states to foster refugee self-employment based on its potential to contribute to goals around socioeconomic integration and economic development. However there are numerous barriers at both the structural and individual level that refugees must overcome before they can start a sustainable business in their new EU host country, and civil society organizations are often the sole bearers of providing support in this regard. By using a mixed embeddedness framework, this research investigates refugees’ unique features and barriers as business owners, which were used to shed light on how supranational EU goals often conflict with what happens at local levels, and how organizations must respond to these structural conditions. With the barriers in mind, three promising initiatives were evaluated based on their strengths and struggles to provide dynamic and sustainable business support to refugees. The research was carried out with the perspective of good practice sharing, which may influence governments and other initiatives to adopt more effective mechanisms to contribute to this goal.
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