Title: Refugee entrepreneurship: taking a social network view on immigrants with refugee backgrounds starting transnational businesses in Sweden

Authors: Susanne Sandberg; Rebecca Immonen; Sara Kok

Addresses: School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE-39182 Kalmar, Sweden ' School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE-39182 Kalmar, Sweden ' School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, SE-39182 Kalmar, Sweden

Abstract: The global world of today is characterised by movement, both voluntarily and forced. Still few studies have focused on immigrant entrepreneurs with refugee background and how they start and run transnational businesses in their country of residence. The purposes of the paper are: 1) to identify characteristics of refugee entrepreneurs; 2) to examine how the social network is utilised for starting up and running the business. Four refugee entrepreneurs, who started business with transnational characteristics in Sweden, are studied. Findings identify a time span before becoming self-employed, an urge to start own business, strong transnational ties, importance of COR ties and knowledge of the native language and legislation, as key for refugee entrepreneurs. Through positioning refugee entrepreneurship to existing research, and by taking a social network view on transnational business of refugees, novel theoretical and empirical contributions and implications are given.

Keywords: refugee; immigrant; diaspora; transnational; international; social network; entrepreneurship; social capital; human capital.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2019.096967

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2019 Vol.36 No.1/2, pp.216 - 241

Received: 30 Mar 2017
Accepted: 07 Apr 2017

Published online: 04 Dec 2018 *

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