Diverse Settings, Questions and Approaches
Edited by Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings
Chapter 1: Turkish Businesswomen in the UK and Netherlands: The Effects of National Context on Female Migrant Entrepreneurs
Anne Laure Humbert and Caroline Essers INTRODUCTION Labour market participation is considered as key to the socio-economic integration of migrants in Western countries. The importance of ethnic minority entrepreneurship1 as a source of employment opportunities for migrant populations is considerable. However, most studies on ethnic minority entrepreneurship, implicitly or not, concentrate on male entrepreneurs or ignore the roles women play in these businesses (Westwood and Bhachu, 1987; Essers and Benschop, 2007). Moreover, the discourse on womanhood seems to be in conflict with the discourse on entrepreneurship; being a woman and an entrepreneur at the same time seems hardly possible (Ahl, 2004). Accordingly, the mainstream entrepreneurial discourse sketches an image of the ‘other’ other, the female migrant entrepreneur as different per se (Strüder, 2003). This chapter explores this discourse by looking more closely at Turkish2 businesswomen and examining how this discourse, as captured by national structures, affects these female migrant entrepreneurs within two different national contexts: the Netherlands and the UK. The contrast between the UK and the Netherlands is particularly valuable because of the variation in uptake of entrepreneurship among Turkish female migrants. The variation is possibly linked to differences in national policies, particularly those that aim to stimulate (female) migrant entrepreneurship, differences in migratory regimes and policies, and differences in national cultures. Theoretically, this comparison is important because of the contingent nature of gender. By this we mean that both actors and contexts affect the meaning of gender, and how it is seen and interpreted. Entrepreneurial rates among...