Institutions and Refugee Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of Congolese Refugees in Rwamwanja Refrugee Settlement in Uganda

Kevin Jahndel

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the light of global migration flows and an ever increasing number of refugees in the world, empowering displaced people through promoting entrepreneurship has received growing attention. As such, entrepreneurship has also found its way into refugee policies. However, from an academic point of view, the economic and entrepreneurial life of refugees is currently not well understood and many questions remain. This study has applied a single case design in Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Uganda, which has been praised by the international development community for its progressive, albeit not perfect, refugee policies. This thesis applied institutional theory to explore the link between institutions and entrepreneurship. As part of this study twenty semi-structured interviews with refugee entrepreneurs and two focus group discussion have been conducted. The study revealed a strong link between regulative institutions and the early stages of entrepreneurship, if visibly enforced by reliable actors. Contrary, the links to informal institutions are more context dependent and show differing effects.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages99
SupervisorsSøren Jeppesen