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Exploring Refugees Entrepreneurial Support Organizations in Uganda

Anthony Tibaingana (CoBAMS, Makerere University)
Matt Baillie Smith (Northumbria University)
Robert Newbery (Northumbria University, UK)

Entrepreneurial Place Leadership: Negotiating the Entrepreneurial Landscape

ISBN: 978-1-80071-029-0, eISBN: 978-1-80071-028-3

Publication date: 21 July 2022


Drawing on current development practice and literature on Entrepreneurial support organizations (ESO), such as accelerators, incubators, and labs, this chapter explores how refugees in Uganda are supported through entrepreneurial approaches. Following an exploratory method, interviews were conducted with proprietors and managers of ESO in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. The findings show that while the majority of these organizations purport to follow an innovation discourse, in reality, they support refugees through a mixture of inclusion, resilience, and innovation-led approaches. Inclusion-led approaches focus on basic language skills, establishing peer relationships, and access to survival essentials. Resilience-led approaches nurture livelihood skills, building community ties, and access to seed-corn grants. Innovation-led approaches develop entrepreneurial skills, establishing extra-local connectivity and access to micro-finance. This chapter highlights the critical importance of inclusion and resilience-led approaches in developing supportive ESO for refugees.




This chapter draws on research funded by Northumbria University’s Global Challenges Research Fund QR allocation as well as ESRC/GCRF grant ES/S005439/1, “Skills acquisition and employability through volunteering by displaced youth in Uganda.” We would like to thank all those who were interviewed for the research for their time and insight.


Tibaingana, A., Smith, M.B. and Newbery, R. (2022), "Exploring Refugees Entrepreneurial Support Organizations in Uganda", Newbery, R., Baranchenko, Y. and Bell, C. (Ed.) Entrepreneurial Place Leadership: Negotiating the Entrepreneurial Landscape (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 15), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 73-89.



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