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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Exploring the entrepreneurial intentions of Syrian refugees in the UK
Author(s): Mawson, Suzanne
Kasem, Laila
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Keywords: Entrepreneurship
latent entrepreneurs
Issue Date: 2019
Date Deposited: 11-Dec-2018
Citation: Mawson S & Kasem L (2019) Exploring the entrepreneurial intentions of Syrian refugees in the UK. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 25 (5), pp. 1128-1146.
Abstract: Purpose Few studies have sought to explore the issue of entrepreneurial intention within refugees, despite wide recognition of refugee entrepreneurial potential. This paper explores entrepreneurial intention amongst recently arrived Syrian refugees in the UK, including the role that the migration experience plays in shaping these intentions. Design/methodology/approach This paper follows an interpretive phenomenological research approach, contextualised within the entrepreneurial intention literature. It draws on data collected from in-depth interviews with 9 Syrian refugees, five of whom arrived independently and four of whom arrived via the UK Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement (VPR) Programme. Findings All participants were found to have strong perceptions of desirability towards entrepreneurship. Individuals who arrived independently demonstrated more confidence in their abilities, and in turn somewhat stronger start-up intentions. The findings indicate that the personal development of independent refugee arrivals linked to their migration experiences may help shape the intention to engage in entrepreneurship. Research limitations As this paper draws on a small sample in a single geographic location, the findings presented are phenomenological, context specific and not necessarily applicable to other spatial locations or to other (refugee) groups. Social implications A number of practical and social implications are provided. Support interventions focused on strengthening the perceived abilities and capabilities of refugees would be of considerable benefit. Originality/value This paper provides new and important insight into the nature of entrepreneurial intention within a novel focal group. It makes a valuable contribution to the literature by considering issues of context and process, specifically the relationship between personal forced migration experience and the perceived capability to start a business.
DOI Link: 10.1108/IJEBR-02-2018-0103
Rights: Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research by Emerald. The original publication is available at: This article is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence ( To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
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