What Do We Know About Ethnic and Migrant Women Entrepreneurs? A Review of Evidence. SOTA Review No 36
Published: 11 March 2020
Evidence suggests that ethnic and migrant women are more likely than other women to select into self-employment due to discriminatory challenges which constrain their access to mainstream employment (Dy, Marlow and Martin, 2017). In the case of the UK, such women own and lead approximately 14 per cent of female led ventures, whilst one in seven new start-ups are initiated by migrants per se (CEF/Duedil 2014). From a review of extant evidence, Romero and Valdez (2016) found that the recent expansion in women’s self-employment has been dominated by migrant and Black and Minority Ethnic women (BAME). Within this review, we define migrants as individuals who voluntarily relocate permanently to a country different from the one in which they were born, and ethnic minority as an established community that has different characteristics to the indigenous majority population of the country in which they reside. Whilst there is a body of evidence regarding the entrepreneurial motivations and experiences of migrant and ethnic minorities, this literature tends to be gender blind, assuming a male prototype. There is relatively little evidence focused specifically upon women; this presents a gap given the intersectional challenges of gender, race, ethnicity and migrant status facing such women (von Berlepsch, et al., 2019). BAME and migrant women who enter self-employment have to navigate additional barriers to those encountered by white women including racism, language barriers and, for some, cultural constraints within BAME communities arising from patriarchal concerns about women’s autonomy and legitimacy to act as entrepreneurs (Knight, 2016). The confluence of these challenges has complex and varied affects upon the type of firms that BAME and migrant women create and their potential for sustainability and growth. It calls for policy and support with an intersectional sensibility (Crenshaw, 1991).
Published: 1 June 2013
In this short paper, we provide a preliminary assessment of the likely impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the self-employed, and in particular, using the most recently available UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey data, we provide an analysis of which groups and where the self-employed are most at risk of significant income loss and therefore household distress.
Because of time-lags in the publication of official labour force and business statistical data, it is still too early for us to assess with any degree of precision the impact of the crisis on the self-employment. Nevertheless, the sudden closure of businesses and tight social distancing restrictions on the movement of people in the attempt to slow down the spread of Covid-19 is having unprecedented effects on employment and businesses activity. Employment and self-employment in non-food personal and domestic services is directly affected since customers are required to stay at home except for essential shopping for food and medical supplies, and where possible work from home, and so no longer permitted to use these services.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies identifies sectors that are directly affected by the lockdown: non-food, non-pharmaceutical retail; passenger transport; accommodation and food; travel; childcare; arts and leisure; personal care and domestic services (Joyce and Hu, 2020). The sector-specific employment risk coincides with specific job and worker characteristics with young people and women being predicted to be hit hardest by the lockdown. Age and gender effects are further associated with low income jobs and part-time workers. Hence, the employment effect of Covid-19 is associated with a stark level of social inequality.
However, predictions about which workers are hardest hit by the crisis (Joyce and Hu, 2020; Kitsos, 2020), included only those in paid employment.
We provide here a corresponding analysis for the self-employed.
Published: 21 April 2020
Enterprise Research Centre
Warwick Business School
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Enterprise Research Centre
Aston Business School
Birmingham B4 7ET
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