Przejdź do głównej treści Przejdź do nawigacji
Ośrodek Badań nad Migracjami

Kseniya Homel. 2022.

Agency and Social Relations in the Search for a Better Life: Female Migrant Entrepreneurs in Poland


Central and Eastern European Migration Review 11(2) | s. 33-50

doi: 10.54667/ceemr.2022.12


Dynamic changes and the increasing diversity of migrant societies support small-scale enclave businesses in Poland. Female migrants from Belarus and Ukraine appear to have found their niche in the beauty and cosmetology sector. Nevertheless, their entrepreneurship goes beyond the enclave market. Specialists provide services to migrant communities and simultaneously target Polish clients to ensure the success of their ventures. This article presents the results of qualitative research based on 13 in-depth interviews with Ukrainian and Belarusian beauty specialists. I focus on these businesswomen’s narratives about their entrepreneurial trajectories. My aim is to explore how they use and extend their social relationships in order to acquire entrepreneurial agency. Entrepreneurship can be understood as a socially embedded practice. I apply an intersectionality approach to investigate the complexity of socially constructed identities and the dimensions of individual entrepreneurial agency. Incorporating a mixed embeddedness approach, I examine the impact of structural factors on entrepreneurial activity and the importance of social networks for women’s self-realisation as independent beauty specialists.

Słowa kluczowe

gender, female migrants, migrant entrepreneurship, social networks, beauty sector, agency