Understanding entrepreneurship and its role in the integration process for refugees in Utah

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Social Work
Department Social Work
Author Ibrahim, Ujal
Title Understanding entrepreneurship and its role in the integration process for refugees in Utah
Date 2019
Description More than 3 million refugees have resettled in the United States since 1975. Although refugees face a myriad of challenges before and after migration to the United States, they personify resilience and an important flow of resources in the form of economic and human capitals. Entrepreneurship has the potential to help refugees integrate into the mainstream and adapt to life in the host country. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand refugees' entrepreneurship journey and its impact in their integration process by conducting three connected phases of research: 1) a systematic review of scholarly work in the area of refugee entrepreneurship; 2) understanding the challenges, facilitators, and opportunities of refugee entrepreneurship; and 3) understanding the organizational capacities of agencies in serving refugee entrepreneurs. The review conducted by searching four major databases indicated that the majority of the studies addressed entrepreneurship in Asia, Europe, and North America. Studies were predominantly qualitative using individual interviews, focus groups, or a combination and warranted the need for more quantitative and mixed methods approaches. The outcomes of Study 2 and Study 3 were based on semistructured, individual interviews with entrepreneurs of refugee background and service providers, respectively. The overarching themes that emerged indicated that despite the language-, culture-, and system-related common barriers, as well as a lack of business funds and access to the mainstream business resources, refugees' entrepreneurship experiences gave them a sense iv of autonomy, freedom, and hope for a brighter future. Service agencies along with collaborators play a critical role in refugees' integration and entrepreneurship by providing general as well as entrepreneurship-specific support from business development to implementation. Agencies can play a more active role by implementing proper needs assessment, identifying and addressing gaps, and providing services such as tailored training, job development, business development, differentiation, funding, and mainstreaming. The outcomes of this dissertation connect to social work from a social justice perspective that strives to provide equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities for all. Future research should explore the management aspects of service agencies and analyze the growth and expansion of refugee-owned enterprises regionally as well as their impacts on the local community and economy.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Ujal Ibrahim
Format Medium application/pdf
ARK ark:/87278/s6g50rfh
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2021-08-19
Date Modified 2021-08-20
ID 1713230
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6g50rfh
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