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Understanding refugee entrepreneurship incubation – an embeddedness perspective

Alexander Dominik Meister (ESCP Europe, Jean-Baptiste Say Institute for Entrepreneurship, Berlin, Germany)
René Mauer (ESCP Europe, Jean-Baptiste Say Institute for Entrepreneurship, Berlin, Germany)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 29 November 2018

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Recent years have seen a wave of immigration in western countries. Entrepreneurship can foster refugees’ integration in the labour market. Hence, the authors observe an emergence of incubators with social purpose, addressing the key challenges of refugee entrepreneurs. The purpose of this paper is to look at the particularities and the impact of business incubation on entrepreneurial development and embeddedness of refugee entrepreneurs in the host country by applying the theoretical lens of mixed embeddedness theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a qualitative case study approach exploring one business incubation model for refugee entrepreneurs in Germany. For a multi-stakeholder perspective, the data were collected through a participatory focus group workshop and semi-structured interviews of refugee entrepreneurs and incubator stakeholders (e.g. incubator management, mentors and partners) contributing to the incubation. The data collection extends over the duration of five months of the incubation programme.

Findings

The empirical results emphasise the impact of the business incubator on refugee entrepreneur’s development and embeddedness. In this analysis, the authors identify key themes of a particular incubation process addressing the lack of embeddedness and barriers to refugee entrepreneurs in the host country. From the results, the authors elaborate a particular business incubation process framework of refugee entrepreneurs.

Originality/value

The findings enhance the understanding how business incubation contributes to the embeddedness of refugee entrepreneurs in their new hosting environment. Thus, this research contributes to the existing literature by extending incubation model frameworks towards refugee entrepreneurship and embeddedness perspectives. Furthermore, the study emphasises the role of the incubator in the context of the dimensions of the mixed embeddedness of the refugee entrepreneurs.

Keywords

Citation

Meister, A.D. and Mauer, R. (2019), "Understanding refugee entrepreneurship incubation – an embeddedness perspective", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1065-1092. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-02-2018-0108

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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