Diversity is increasingly an essential part of many global societies like Britain and entrepreneurship, and, more specifically, migrant entrepreneurship is increasingly portrayed as a driver for economic growth and integration. In this context, understanding the social impact of migrant entrepreneurship within the context is overdue, exposing the unfit current integrative policies and underutilised migrant entrepreneurship talent.
This interdisciplinary study employs a qualitative, interpretative phenomenological approach to explore how 49 London-based Romanian migrant entrepreneurs experience acculturation through entrepreneurship based on semi-structured interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. This doctoral thesis investigates two perspectives of acculturation: the cognitive perspective of acculturation to understand how intersectional identities impact upon these migrant entrepreneurs’ experiences of acculturation and the behavioural perspective of acculturation by pursuing the understanding of how these migrant entrepreneurs’ entrepreneurial strategies influence their experiences of acculturation. This study expands beyond the traditional economic view of migrant entrepreneurship through these fresh cognitive and behavioural lines of inquiry to explore the contextual, interdisciplinary link between acculturation, migrant entrepreneurship, and intersectionality to contribute to interdisciplinary literature, practice, education, and policies.
First, it provides a fresh, interdisciplinary and contextualised perspective of acculturation through entrepreneurship by building an interactive, conceptual framework that demonstrates the importance and the link between interdisciplinary concepts, such as intersectional identities (i.e. sociology) entrepreneurship strategies (i.e. migrant entrepreneurship) in understanding acculturation (i.e. psychology). Second, it contributes to intersectional literature by exposing a fresh perspective of these participants’ cognitive journeys of acculturation at the junction of the super-diverse socio-economic and cultural forces pro-entrepreneurial host context and their sensemaking of who they are and who they want to become. These heterogeneous journeys of becoming are portrayed as dynamic processes of adjusting, justifying, defending, and celebrating their intersectional identities of country-of-origin, gender and entrepreneurship. Third, this study contributes to the migrant entrepreneurship research, exposing complex, heterogeneous behavioural journeys of acculturation, as some share their experiences of assimilation, whilst others talked about their social segregation or social inclusion. Their experiences conveyed a novel migrant entrepreneurship acculturative multiplier effect, which strengthened the social role and image of migrant entrepreneurship as a vehicle of acculturation. Fourth, this thesis contributes to methodology by creating an effective and efficient e-sampling technique via Facebook, a typology of non-verbal communication to support the IPA analysis and an ethical barter protocol to support the recruitment of hard-to-reach participants.