Vidhula Venugopal presents "New Hopes on New Shores: Entrepreneurship among Women Refugees in Australia"
The recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009-10) show that refugees are the most entrepreneurial migrants in Australia. Refugees reported the highest proportion of their incomes from their own unincorporated businesses. Studies have also shown that business start-up rates for women refugees are higher than for Australia-born women. However little is known about how women refugees move into entrepreneurship; especially given that in many cases refugees are separated from their families and the close support structures that are often used by entrepreneurs in the business start-up phase may be non-existent for refugee entrepreneurs in their new host country.
To date no systematic study has been conducted on refugee entrepreneurship particularly in the context of the most vulnerable of refugees, i.e. women. Moreover, no study has been conducted in the Victorian context, although, according to Victoria Health, Victoria receives about one-third of all refugees and asylum seekers entering Australia; more than any other state or territory. In this presentation, Vidhula Venugopal will discuss the preliminary findings of her study in the context of three main questions: the factors that lead refugee women to move into entrepreneurship; the role of social and family structures in this journey; and the existing social, political, and economic context.
Dr Vidhula Venugopal
Dr Vidhula Venugopal is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Entrepreneurship & Innovation with the School of Management at RMIT University. Vidhula’s research is concerned with entrepreneurship with specific focus on gender and ethnic minorities. Her broad research theme is the investigation of entrepreneurship as a way toward financial and social inclusion of marginalised individuals. She completed her PhD in 2015 and is currently engaged in projects overlapping the areas and contexts of entrepreneurship, gender, refugees, migrants, and social enterprises.