Entrepreneurship in constrained immigration contexts - the liminal integration of Syrian refugees

Deema Refai, John Lever, Radi Haloub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on a qualitative study of Syrian refugees in constrained immigration contexts in the North of England, this article explores refugees’ perceptions of integration and social exclusion through entrepreneurship. By exploring refugee experiences as they engage in entrepreneurship programmes or business start-ups, our findings highlight a divide among refugees with the means to start-up businesses successfully and those without. The article contributes to understanding entrepreneurship as a tool for refugees that indicates dyadic outcomes of idiosyncratic integration among equipped refugees and liminal integration among vulnerable refugees. The article extends our appreciation of the nuance in entrepreneurship, and develops liminality debates by stressing the transformative nature of refugee journeys that involve cross-domain transitions characterized by multiple separations. We call for the acknowledgement of refugee heterogeneity in neoliberal economies in ways that encompass holistic views of integration beyond the current focus on economic contributions at the expense of all else.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-435
Number of pages20
JournalEntrepreneurship and Regional Development
Issue number3-4
Early online date3 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

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