Integration of Refugees into Entrepreneurship: Empirical Analysis of New Venture Legitimation Processes in the context of Syrian Refugee Entrepreneurship in Turkey

Term: 
2021-2022 Summer
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor: 
School of Management
Number of Students: 
2

This project has received joint funding from the TUBITAK 2236 Co-Funded Brain Circulation Scheme 2 grant agreement Nº  B.14.2.TBT.0.06.01-E.35723 and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement Nº 801509.
The project has officially started in May, 2020 and is planned to be finalised in May 2022. Since its inception, the proposed research has been progressing according the plan set in the research proposal.
Fieldwork takes a considerable part of the designated research time. Data collection and analysis processes is underway and will continue towards the end of the project, which is around May 2022.
I will expect the student to work with analyzing the survey results as well as conducting interviews with Syrian entrepreneurs. For that reason, I welcome students who eager to fiddle with survey data and adept at quantitative analysis. Arabic language proficiency is highly desired.
The research aims to examine the integration of the refugees into entrepreneurship with a particular focus around new venture legitimation processes. In particular, how refugee entrepreneurs establish legitimacy among different stakeholders when seeking resources and support for new venture development will be empirically analyzed. The emerging and vibrant context of Syrian refugee entrepreneurship in Turkey will form the empirical context.
The focus on legitimation of refugee communities’ integration into entrepreneurship can provide critical but systematic research account to inform critical debate in entrepreneurship and relevant policy efforts targeting refugees and enterprising refugees. The research project is planned be carried out in two-phases and will adopt a mixed method study.
Quantitative Research. The first phase will aim to map out Syrian refugee enterprises in terms their motivations, resources and their economic performance in relation to their various socio-spatial embeddedness in ethnic community/niche, mainstream and transnational business, and markets since there is no available data. To that end, the surveys are designed and widely distributed to Syrian enterprises throughout Turkey. The collected data will be analyzed via descriptive statistics and regression methods to develop a statistically meaningful relationships constructs. Qualitative Research. In the second phase, the research will probe into the processual side of legitimation processes. This phase will start with focus group interviews and continue with semi-structured interviews with key individual and institutional audiences granting capital, resources and support to refugee enterprises in order to map the institutional contexts, key players and identify major institutional logics including financial institutions, local and national governmental bodies, municipalities as well as business support networks including local, regional, national, ethnic- Syrian as well as International Non-Governmental Organizations (local and international NGOs) with a mission and activities aimed to foster refugee entrepreneurship in Turkey.
Multiple Case Study generation. After mapping the topography of refugee economies including key actors and institutional logics, the team will spend the major effort in generating multiple cases as a basis for theory building efforts on legitimation processes31. Case study materials will draw upon three sources and will collected during first year of the study. The selection criteria will be the ventures which are at the first three years of foundation. The aim is to access entrepreneurs and follow their key audiences primarily through refugee enterprise incubation programs however also select independent cases which have applied various other support structures in garnering resources. There are currently several programs set up and run in collaboration with diverse NGOs, governmental and private initiatives in Turkey.
Analytical Approach. After cross-synthesizing the data, focused analysis will be conducted by constructing case narratives and adopting Gioia methodology’32, a multilevel coding process by which aggregate codes will form into a process representation which will demonstrate the interactive development of legitimation process and draw a concluding processual model in connection with research questions.

Related Areas of Project: 
International Studies
Management

About Project Supervisors

Huriye Yeröz
Faculty of Management
huriye.yeroz@sabanciuniv.edu