Forced displacement drastically changes the nature of refugees’ connection to their home countries and requires them to build new ties to their host countries. While refugees undergo the dynamic transformation of their embeddedness after arriving in host countries, previous studies on refugee entrepreneurship have not sufficiently examined the dynamic and procedural nature of refugees’ embeddedness and its influence on their entrepreneurial activities.
This study seeks to understand how the process of embedding influences refugees’ resource mobilization in their entrepreneurial activities. Based on 20 interviews with refugee entrepreneurs in Germany, this study revealed that forced detachment from home-country contexts led to a loss of certain resources while simultaneously creating opportunities for refugees to develop resources by building new connections. This study challenges the conventional structural deterministic approach of mixed embeddedness and theorizes disembedding and re-embedding processes of refugee entrepreneurs.
The findings suggest that these processes require a cognitive process on the part of entrepreneurial agents to become aware of a loss of resources and to reinterpret the value of their resources. Furthermore, this paper discusses how these processes constrain and enable refugees’ access to resources. The findings offer implications for policymakers of refugee-hosting countries and refugee support organizations.