Being an Immigrant as a Resource and as a Barrier. Conducting Business Activities in Poland in the Narratives of Female Immigrants from Post-Soviet Countries
Studia Socjologiczne, nr 1/2015
The text aims to analyze the process of empowerment of immigrant women who set up and develop their own business activities. The first part of the article discusses current research concerning female immigrant entrepreneurship. Five main threads are distinguished: women migrants’ enterprises as a manifestation of emancipation and self-realization, self-employment as a result of double discrimination, the phenomenon of “hidden” female entrepreneurship, the feminized profile of some labour market niches and the problem of reconciling professional activities and family life. The second part of the text intends to relate these findings to the description of activities of immigrant entrepreneurs in Poland. The research presented consists of qualitative interviews with highly-qualified migrant women from post-Soviet states who run their own business. Their firms operate in transnational spaces; immigrants take advantage of the resources of migrant networks, their own cultural background and inter-cultural competences, which influence the base of contractors, relations with employers and coworkers, as well as the locations where the businesses is established and developed. The women associate their achievements with the need for independence and personal development.
migration female immigrant entrepreneurs self-employment transnationalism