Research Series: Workshop on Refugee Entrepreneurship

Join Professor Paul Godfrey on 6 June to hear about “Improvising Everything: Toward A Theory of Refugee Entrepreneurship” and Caleb Kwong sharing “Entrepreneurship ecosystems of displaced entrepreneurs in camps and in host community”

  • Wed 6 Jun 18

    12:00 - 16:30

  • Southend Campus

    GB 3.4, Gateway Building

  • Event speaker

    Professor Paul Godfrey and Dr Caleb Kwong

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Suma Athreye


Event Abstract

Professor Paul Godfrey:  “Improvising Everything: Toward A Theory of Refugee Entrepreneurship”

Estimates suggest that governmental action and conflict around the world displaced 65.6 million people in 2017 alone -- meaning 1 in every 122 people fled their homes as refugees because of persecution, war, or violence (UNHCR, 2018). The international refugee situation has worsened dramatically over the last decade. Ten years ago, six people every sixty seconds were forced to flee home; the situation has escalated such that now twenty-four people flee for their lives every sixty seconds (UNHCR, 2016). One prominent response, from both public and private organizations, encourages entrepreneurship among refugees (Brown & Scribner, 2014; Koltai, 2016). Facilitating refugee self-employment and new business creation remains a key element in the effort to integrate refugees culturally and economically into new locations. In this seminar Professor Paul Godfrey (Brigham Young University) explores his recent work in this area on clarifying and theorizing the concept of refugee entrepreneur, and explores the resource configurations the help define this population.

Dr Caleb Kwong: “Entrepreneurship ecosystems of displaced entrepreneurs in camps and in host community”

While an emerging literature has acknowledged the contribution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to the development of entrepreneurial venture, few studies conceptualize the entrepreneurial ecosystem of entrepreneurs who experienced displacement. This paper attempts address this gap by constructing the structure and function of two entrepreneurial ecosystem that was experienced by displaced entrepreneurs, the first one involved those who resided within displacement camp, and the second one involved those who resided in the host community at large. Utilising a qualitative approach involving 20 entrepreneurs who were based in camps and the host community, we found notable similarities of the two types of ecosystem, but also substantial differences.

Speaker Biography

Professor Paul C. Godfrey currently serves as the William and Roceil Low Professor of Business Strategy in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University.  Paul has long focused on the social impact of business organizations.  His research has appeared in the Academy of Management Review, the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Business Ethics, and the Journal of Management Inquiry.  Paul’s most recent book, Management, Society, and the Informal Economy, collects essays and research from top management scholars working to understand the role of the informal economy in global poverty reduction.  His research interests have migrated from a focus on global poverty reduction to the question of how individuals and organizations become resilient—able to thrive in difficulty.  Resilience seems to be an important characteristic for success in harsh environments such as poverty or rapid change.
Dr Caleb Kwong, senior lecturer Essex Business School, research's interests include entrepreneurship, human resource management and not-for-profit sector management, and has published in a number of international journals including Regional Studies, Academy of Management: Learning and Education, Journal of Small Business Management, International Small Business Journal, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Journal of General Management, Local Economy and International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research. Prior to joining the University of Essex, Caleb was a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Wales/UK) team (funded by the EU). Caleb is an Editorial Board member for the Journal of General Management and the Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies (formerly Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship). He is also an Editorial Review Board member for the Journal of Small Business Management.



Please email Professor Suma Athreye to confirm your attendance.