Informal refugee entrepreneurship: Narratives of economic empowerment
Al Saidi, Abdulghafoor
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Jordan hosts a total of 1.4 million Syrian refugees. This exploratory, qualitative study presents the narratives of five Syrian refugees engaged in informal entrepreneurship in Jordan. It aims to provide a better understanding of their motives and the challenges they faced as they tried to create home-based business in a patriarchal and conservative context. Purposeful sampling was employed to recruit participants. A semi structured interview guide was used to interview the refugees. Content analysis was used to identify recurring themes present in the data and amongst refugee narratives. Refugee motivations were a combination of push and pull factors whereas, finding start-up capital, hostility from locals and work-life balance were cited as the major challenges faced. The study highlights how entrepreneurship can be used as a means of survival and economic empowerment under dire circumstances. It also draws attention to how these types of activities may help relieve the economic burden of host communities.