Refugee entrepreneurship by refugees that arrived Germany in the latest influx in 2014 is a phenomenon that has not been subject to major research so far. Therefore, this paper aims to contribute to explaining what motivates refugees in Berlin to become self-employed and which challenges and opportunities they experience. Taking these factors into account, recommendations are given for improving their situation to support organizations and the state government of Berlin, as they are the two main actors who set up and consult in the bureaucratic processes of starting self-employment in Berlin. The general problem this study addresses is that refugee entrepreneurs face a variety of social exclusions and disadvantages and that the entrepreneurial activity in Germany is comparatively low which are two factors that make the way to self-employment difficult. The study finds that the interviewed refugee entrepreneurs are motivated to found their own business by both growth-oriented as well as necessity-driven motives with a tendency towards growth-orientation. The majority of mentioned challenges are related to bureaucratic processes, access to funding and the communication with authorities. Further, it was found that refugee entrepreneurs’ own characteristics, their participation in organizations’ programs and their access to networks were the main factors that supported them when becoming self-employed. As a main recommendation, the interviewees mentioned a better collaboration and communication between authorities, organizations and refugees. Since there have no extensive studies on refugee entrepreneurs in Berlin been done in recent years, this qualitative study sheds light on the processes that shape refugee entrepreneurs’ personal experiences when becoming self-employed.

Additional Metadata
Keywords refugee entrepreneurship, refugees in Germany, refugee entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, self-employment
Thesis Advisor Knorringa, Peter
Persistent URL
Series Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
Naarmann, Franziska. (2019, December 20). Discovering the situation of refugee entrepreneurs in Berlin, Germany, on their way to self-employment 2014 to date. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from