Diversities of entrepreneurship


LGBTIQ* x migrant entrepreneurs in Poland

Picture from Warsaw Copyright: © Filip Kwiatkowski

In entrepreneurship, there is a call to consider further diversity dimensions, including on the intersectionality of different minority entrepreneurs. Increasing mobility and migration flows have been accompanied also by an increase of anti-LGBTIQ* and anti-migration movements, questioning the experiences of entrepreneurs at these intersections.

While minority entrepreneurs have been identified as key actors of economic integration and leading figures for social cohesion (Mwaura et al. 2018), little is known about those who are at the intersection of gender minority and migrant communities. Minority entrepreneurs generally find support in their specific communities. However, the intersectionality of LGBTIQ* migrant entrepreneurs poses questions on their access to resources, availability of different capitals and marginalization in their own ethnic communities, and thus, how their support systems are impaired by their intersectionality.

We focus on the Eastern European case of Warsaw (Poland), where the entrepreneurial context has drastically changed in the last decades with the post-socialist transformation and the accession to the EU free market accompanied by novel institutional support systems emerging for entrepreneurs and most recently by stronger anti-immigration and anti-LGBTIQ* polices. Furthermore, the recent arrival of 3.5 million refugees in the country is challenging perceptions of diversities and in the everyday experiences of populations concerned.

Focusing on LGBTIQ* migrant entrepreneurs in Warsaw, we aim to capture the experiences of these intersectional entrepreneurs and their multi-level contextual embeddedness to inform academics and practitioners on how to better incorporate issues of diversities in support policies for entrepreneurs in light of also socio-political disparities in Europe.

Fieldwork in Poland: May to July 2023

This project is funded by ISBE Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Fund (RAKE) and carried out with long-term collaboration partner Dr. Paul Lassalle, Senior Lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at University of Strathclyde.