“Call Me a Business Owner, Not a Refugee!” Challenges of and Perspectives on Newcomer Entrepreneurship

WRC Research Paper No. 7

December 19, 2018

Participating in the labour market is vital to newcomers’ successful integration in the host country. Although most newcomers participate through wage earning, some start their own businesses. Refugee entrepreneurship has substantial benefits not only for these business owners but also for their host communities; however, newcomers aspiring to begin their own businesses face several obstacles.

Through a systematic literature review and selected global case studies, this paper identifies some of these challenges with respect to market opportunities, access to entrepreneurship, human capital, social networks and the social environment in the context of newcomer entrepreneurship.

While the lack of research on newcomer entrepreneurship and the vast differences among newcomer scenarios hinder the development of standard solutions, this paper aims to provide a foundation on which further investigation, strategic planning and efforts to implement solutions could be based. Active, informed and engaged leadership is needed to champion the transition of the newcomer image from a passive and vulnerable recipient to an empowered contributor.

Part of Series

World Refugee Council Research Paper Series

Research papers are policy documents commissioned by the World Refugee Council from world-renowned experts to help inform the work of the Council and its final recommendations. The measures and concepts in these documents do not necessarily reflect the views of the World Refugee Council.

About the Author

Lubna Rashid is working toward her doctorate degree in the department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at the Technical University of Berlin.