Journal Article

Entrepreneurial motives, entrepreneurial success and life satisfaction of refugees venturing in tourism and hospitality


Purpose. A burgeoning stream of tourism and hospitality research highlights the role of entrepreneurship in bringing about positive social and economic outcomes for both refugees themselves and their host countries. Yet little has been done so far both in mainstream entrepreneurship research and tourism scholarship to explore how motivations influence perceived entrepreneurial success of refugees and how this eventually affects their subjective well-being. To address this gap, the present study proposes and empirically tests a conceptual model postulating relationships between contextual and individual entrepreneurial motives, perceptions of entrepreneurial success, and life satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach. The study draws on quantitative data collected through 172 surveys of refugee entrepreneurs venturing in different sub-sectors within tourism and hospitality in Turkey and the UK. A Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used to test the proposed theoretical model. Findings. The results reveal that contextual and individual entrepreneurial motives have a significant positive impact on perceived entrepreneurial success. As predicted, perceived entrepreneurial success is found to have a significant positive impact on life satisfaction. A multi-group analysis involving host country (Turkey vs the UK) and mode of entry (founder vs takeover) indicates no significant difference based on host country whereas the strength of relationships for takeovers is relatively greater as compared to founders. Practical implications. The study advocates that the reductionist approach viewing refugees as temporary “outsiders” who are in consistent need of public provision and welfare services should not prevail against their ability to achieve self-efficiency through entrepreneurship. Hence, policies need to be oriented toward supporting refugee entrepreneurial activities over various business stages and modes of entry. More importantly, ensuring high success rates among refugee entrepreneurs should be viewed as a pivotal tool to address the well-being of refugees, their families, and their fellows. Originality/value. While previous research identifies drivers of entrepreneurship success and the potential favorable outcomes, none of these studies empirically models refugee entrepreneurship motives, self-reported entrepreneurial success, and life satisfaction as a distinct and growing cohort of entrepreneurs. The study makes significant theoretical contributions to the corpus of literature on the social outcomes of entrepreneurship and provides timely implications for policy makers to utilize entrepreneurship as a market-based solution to address refugees’ subjective well-being.

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Cetin, Gurel
Altinay, Levent
Alrawadieh, Zaid
Ali, Faizan

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford School of Hospitality Management


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-03-23

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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