Displaced, excluded, and making do: a study of refugee entrepreneurship in Kenya

LUSENO, Tracy and KOLADE, Seun (2022). Displaced, excluded, and making do: a study of refugee entrepreneurship in Kenya. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies.

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Official URL: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.110...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1108/jeee-04-2021-0163


Purpose The aim of this paper is to use the special context of the Kenyan encampment policy to interrogate the role of social capital as a driver of resourcing for entrepreneurial action in the resource-constrained environment of refugee entrepreneurship in Kenya. Design/methodology/approach This paper takes conceptual and case study approaches to investigate how refugees deploy social capital to aggregate and recombine resources for entrepreneurial action and livelihood outcomes. It draws on 21 selected secondary sources and semi-structured interviews of 24 respondents from Kakuma camp and Kalobeyei settlement, as well as Nairobi city in Kenya. Findings This study proposes a new conceptual framework that illuminates the interaction between social capital, resource aggregation and resource recombination for entrepreneurial action and livelihood recovery. This framework was elucidated within the specific Kenyan context, where social capital was found to play a key role in enabling access to other resources such as financial and human capital to refugee entrepreneurs that would otherwise be inaccessible within the resource-constrained context. It also underlines the capacity of refugees to mobilise these resources in the creation of new ecosystems and institutions. Research limitations/implications While the conceptual contribution of the paper holds broad explanatory powers, the empirical aspect is limited in terms of its focus on the Kenyan contexts. Future studies can benefit from cross-country comparisons of empirical, including longitudinal, data. Social implications This paper argues for a new approach that can enable better integration of refugees through the provision of opportunities for full economic participation for refugees. This will be a win-win outcome for both refugees and host communities. Originality/value This paper makes original contribution by proposing a new conceptual framework that explains the bricoleur’s resource process through the lense of social capital in a resource-constrained and challenging institutional environment. This framework is elucidated with empirical qualitative data from Kenya. This study also signposts new operational and policy directions for humanitarian action among refugees.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 3505 Human resources and industrial relations; 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/jeee-04-2021-0163
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 16 May 2023 14:45
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:31
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31876

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