Advancing the Socioeconomic Development and Integration of Migrant Women Through Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of Ireland

Advancing the Socioeconomic Development and Integration of Migrant Women Through Entrepreneurship Education: The Case of Ireland

Toluwani Akaehomen (HerGenuityAfrika!, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2925-6.ch012
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The discourse on female migrant entrepreneurship/female migrant entrepreneurs (FME/FMEs) and entrepreneurship education and training (EET) is one which is gradually gaining interest among scholars because of the relevance of these areas to increasing our understanding of entrepreneurship generally and migrant entrepreneurship in particular. Various studies have alluded to the potential positive impact and contributions of FMEs to the development of host countries, as well as the strong link between education, entrepreneurial performance, and economic growth and development. EET plays a significant role in equipping aspiring and nascent FMEs with the relevant skills, knowledge, and competencies, thereby enhancing the quality of entrepreneurs and facilitating entrepreneurial success among this migrant group. Situating within the Irish context, this chapter examines some of the issues associated with FME, the socioeconomic development of FMEs, and how EET can serve as a strategic tool and catalyst for advancing the socio-economic development and integration of migrant women.
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Entrepreneurship is a research field that continues to attract the interest of scholars (Jovanovic, 2019; Maritz & Donovan, 2015; Azmat, 2014; Aramand, 2012), and the last number of years has also witnessed increasing research interest in issues relating to ethnic / migrant entrepreneurship (for example, see Williams & Krasniqi, 2017; Ramadani, Rexhepi, Gërguri-Rashiti, Ibraimi, & Dana, 2014; Dana & Morris, 2007; Birdthistle, 2012; Power & Szlovak, 2012). However, while Female Migrant Entrepreneurship / Female Migrant Entrepreneurs [FME/FMEs] remains largely under-investigated within the entrepreneurship literature - despite the crucial role they play in the economic growth of their host countries (Levent & Nijkamp, 2006; Azmat, 2014; Munkejord, 2017) - some researchers have made significant contributions to the body of knowledge.

For example, Pio (2007) investigated the reasons why migrant women from India in New Zealand chose to become entrepreneurs, while Al-Dajani and Marlow (2013) developed a conceptual framework on the gendered relationship between (women) empowerment and entrepreneurship, with displaced Palestinian migrant women operating home-based enterprises in Jordan as a unit of analysis. Also, Azmat (2014) investigated the possible barriers to entrepreneurship for migrant women, while Lockyer and George (2012) examined the main barriers to female entrepreneurship in the West Midlands in the UK. Similar to Azmat (2014) but specifically relating to Migrant African Women Entrepreneurs [MAWE] in the Australian context, Njaramba, Chigeza, and Whitehouse (2018) also explored the barriers and challenges experienced by migrant women.

Entrepreneurship is recognised as a powerful driver of economic growth - vital to the growth and development of economies (Downs, Lazuras, & Ketikidis, 2012; Bansal, 2012; Mondragón-Vélez, 2007), and research indicates that it is increasingly becoming popular and growing at a fast rate among migrants, especially in the U.S and in many countries in Europe (Levent & Nijkamp, 2006). Drawing on data provided by George Mason University, RIA Blog post (2017, September) note the “dramatic increase” from 1980, which sees migrant women making up a significant number of self-employed business people in the US.

Migrant Entrepreneurship has been linked to social integration (Njaramba et al., 2018), creation of opportunities as well as challenges (Dana & Morris, 2007), and the creation of new ventures (Lassalle & Scott, 2018). Migrants account for a significant proportion of the labour force in OECD countries (Levent & Nijkamp, 2006) and OECD figures confirm that, within the 10-year period of 1998 and 2008, migrants contributed immensely to job creation (Birdthistle, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Hybrid Model: This is a blended model of learning, which incorporates and engages both digital and traditional learning platforms and tools for education and training.

Migrant Entrepreneurship: This phenomenon refers to business/entrepreneurial activities started and run by migrant entrepreneurs.

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Defined as that process by which an immigrant, who has come to re-settle in a new/host country apart from his native country or country of origin, establishes a business venture which creates value.

Digitalisation of Learning: This refers to the use of digital technology for education, training and skills development.

Entrepreneurship Education and Training (EET): EET highlights the need for specific education and training, with the aim of helping people develop critical skills that are relevant and valuable for the setting up and running of business ventures.

Socio-Economic Integration and Participation of Migrant Women: This notion is centred on policies and practices and seeks to raise awareness among migrant women of their rights, including access to education, work and other opportunities. Essentially, it is about giving migrant women equal access and opportunities for full participation in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of/in the host country.

Migrant-Centred Entrepreneurship Education and Training (EET): This model can be defined as Entrepreneurship Education and Training, which effectively meets the specific linguistic, legal, cultural and regulatory skills development and training needs of migrant entrepreneurs. It is based on the idea that migrants’ entrepreneurial education and skills training/development needs are distinct from those of the indigenous communities.

Migrant Entrepreneurs: Migrant Entrepreneurs are men and women of migrant origin, from diverse sociocultural ad ethnic backgrounds, currently living in a host country and engaging in business/entrepreneurial activities in that host country.

Female Migrant Entrepreneurship (FME): This is a phenomenon, which deals exclusively with entrepreneurial ventures and activities undertaken within a host country by migrant females of any age group. FME can be defined as the process by which a female - who has come to resettle in another country (the host country) other than her country of origin - establishes, runs and accepts all associated risks and challenges of a business venture either solely or in partnership with one or more migrant women.

Digital Business: This refers to business ventures, which rely on the use of digital technology for their existence and conducts their activities primarily across digital platforms.

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