DOI: 10.3390/su16062281 ISSN: 2071-1050

Barriers to Entrepreneurial Refugees’ Integration into Host Countries: A Case of Afghan Refugees

Habib Tariq, Yousaf Ali, Muhammad Sabir, Monika Garai-Fodor, Ágnes Csiszárik-Kocsir
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction

Pakistan hosts over 1.4 million Afghan refugees and is facing extreme challenges in accomplishing the UN’s refugee pacts and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The inflow and longer stay of refugees in the host country may affect the local population’s socio-economic conditions. However, not all refugees are a “burden” to the host economy. Some refugees can contribute positively to the local economy given the opportunity. This study investigates the leading hurdles to establishing businesses for refugees to provide a different perspective to policymakers and scholars in achieving refugee integration. Through a thematic analysis of interviews conducted with Afghan entrepreneurial refugees, this study identifies ten hurdles and five opportunities they face while conducting business in Pakistan. Fuzzy Step-wise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis (FSWARA) prioritizes the central theme, i.e., a lack of policies, among other hurdles, by allocating weights. Hypotheses on hurdles and opportunities are built and tested through multiple regression analysis (MRA). All the hypotheses on hurdles and three on opportunities are accepted. This study highlights the importance of a comprehensive framework for entrepreneurial refugees for their smooth integration into Pakistani society. This study helps policymakers and scholars identify the main barriers for refugee entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

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