Call for Abstracts

The MDE Workshop on Refugee Entrepreneurship is a workshop organized by the MDE-Conference (International Conference on Migration and Diaspora Entrepreneurship). This workshop is organized to respond to the growing demand of understanding entrepreneurial activities for and by refugees at the MDE2016, which took place on 28-29 November 2016 in Bremen. As an indicator for growing interest of the community, three academic sessions and a workshop were held on this topic.

The recent refugee waves have emerged rather suddenly and unexpectedly so that policy makers in host countries were forced to make an urgent decision to allow them to enter the country without having enough time to prepare favorable institutional conditions for accommodating them and develop a long-term strategy for their social and economic integration. One potential, but still unexplored way to achieve their economic integration in the host country instantly is refugee entrepreneurship. Refugees are mostly not able to speak the language of the host country and are not familiar with the institutions and the society, as – unlike migrants who voluntarily left their homeland – they do not know in which country their unexpected journey ends up (Waulters & Lambrecht, 2008). Similar to the ethnic enclave theory (Wilson & Portes, 1980; Waldinger, 1993; Light et al., 1994), entrepreneurship may enable refugees to create a parallel economy without not being able to speak the language. Through entrepreneurial activities, they can create jobs not only for themselves, but also other co-ethnics. Furthermore, they can exploit their cultural knowledge and ethnic resource to create new value to the country. Despite of the importance of this topic, it is surprising to see how little this field has been researched in the past, and there is still no overview and systematic understanding of its mechanism and potentials.

Workshop Aims
Against the background, the aim of the MDE Workshop on Refugee Entrepreneurship is to offer a platform for international researchers, policy makers and practitioners to develop an understanding of characteristics, potentials, obstacles and mechanisms of refugee entrepreneurship and develop policy and practical implications. Refugees are in such a complex psychological and societal situation that understanding this topic requires interdisciplinary approach. Therefore, this workshop welcomes abstracts from any kind of fields including entrepreneurship, migration studies, sociology, psychology, economics and geography. Submission can be abstracts of both conceptual and empirical papers. To enable interdisciplinary discussions, this workshop is also open as to the methodological approach so that both quantitative and qualitative studies will be considered. There is no full paper submission for this workshop so that studies in early stage are also encouraged to submit. The length of the abstract should be between 2-4 pages (A4, single space and Times New Roman Size 12). All the abstracts should be submitted to by 01 June 2017. Please indicate to which track (competitive or interactive sessions) you are applying.

Topics & Format
You can submit an abstract of your research in both early and late stages. When you are interested in presenting a research idea in the initial phase, please submit your abstract to the interactive paper sessions in which authors briefly present their preliminary research ideas and intensively discuss with the audience. When your study is already close to the finalization stage, please make a submission to the competitive paper sessions which give authors opportunities to present longer. Your abstracts will be allocated to either type of sessions based on your preference and status.
• Entrepreneurial motivation of refugees
• Opportunities for refugee entrepreneurs
• Psychological condition of refugees and its impact on their entrepreneurial activities
• Theories for refugee entrepreneurship
• The role of refugees in the startup scene
• Governmental supports for refugee entrepreneurship
• Social entrepreneurship for refugees
• Institutional perspectives for refugee entrepreneurship
• Refugee entrepreneurship in different settings and country contexts
• Human and social capital of refugees

Workshop Settings

This one-day workshop will be held at University of Bremen, Germany. The participation fee is 75 Euro. Please note that the Workshop on Entrepreneurial Ecosystem will be held on the 19 July, 2017 also at the University of Bremen. If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please contact us.

To enable an international dissemination of the results of the workshop, we are currently in contact with international journals to develop a special issue from this workshop.

Download Call for Abstracts