ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurs in private and social enterprises: (2015-2017)

Strategic Research Area

Sustainable Business Development in Regional Australia 


 ARC Discovery grant, $200,124.


UTS (Professor J.Collins ), CSU (A/P B. Krivokapic-Skoko)


This project is led by University of Technology, Sydney.

The humanitarian program is the most controversial aspect of Australian immigration. Humanitarian immigrants are the most disadvantaged cohort of immigrant arrivals and face the greatest settlement difficulties in Australia: one-third of humanitarian entrant settlers remain unemployed after three years of settlement in Australia (Hugo 2011:104).

One pathway to increase humanitarian immigrant employment, reduce socio-economic disadvantage and generate more successful settlement outcomes in humanitarian immigrant communities is the establishment of private and social business enterprises that are owned and/or controlled by humanitarian immigrants. However there is little contemporary research into 'humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship' in Australia.

This research project will provide information for the first time on:

  • the pathways to, and dynamics of, male and female humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship in SMEs and social enterprises in Australia, including the barriers that they face and strategies used to overcome these barriers;
  • the ways that humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship is embedded within family and Diasporic social and business networks at  local, national and international levels in private and social enterprises in urban and rural Australia.

This research project aims to fill this critical gap in the literature and to identify policy, programs and projects that can assist in the expansion of humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship in Australia.

It will be the first research specifically designed to:

  • investigate contemporary humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship across Australia (investigating both private and social entrepreneurship in the one research project)
  • conduct fieldwork into humanitarian immigrant entrepreneurship in urban and regional sites in all Australian states
  • introduce the conceptual framework of Diasporic entrepreneurship
  • consider the policy implications


The expected outcomes are:

  •  an improvement in existing humanitarian immigrant enterprises
  •  the creation of new humanitarian immigrant enterprises in Australia. 


A/Prof Branka Krivokapic-Skoko
Charles Sturt University – Bathurst

January 2016