The COVID-19 pandemic and migrant entrepreneurship: Responses to the market shock




migrant entrepreneurship, coping strategies, COVID-19, African entrepreneurs, Finland


The economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced existing inequalities in the business market. Typically facing numerous structural constraints, during the ongoing crisis migrant entrepreneurs appear to be at greatly heightened risk. Applying Davidsson’s and Gordon’s (2016) classification of crisis responses to the realm of migrant entrepreneurship, the current article intends to shed some light on what coping strategies are used by self-employed migrants when economic shocks arise. Four types of responses, namely, disengagement, delay, compensation, and adaptation, as well as their combination were identified in business practices of African entrepreneurs in Finland. The responses prove to be tightly linked to disrupted transnational business networks, limitations of technological solutions, and restricted access to funding and assistance.

Author Biographies

Ekaterina Vorobeva, PhD student at BIGSSS, University of Bremen

Ekaterina Vorobeva is an affiliated PhD fellow at Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and an EU researcher at the Research Centre for East European Studies, University of Bremen. She previously worked in several research projects on forced migration, international migration and migrant entrepreneurship in Finland and Malta. Ekaterina co-authored scientific articles and book chapters published by SAGE Business Cases, GeoJournal, Palgrave Macmillan, the University of Turku and the University of Dhaka.   

Léo-Paul Dana, Professor at Dalhousie University

Léo-Paul Dana is a Professor at Dalhousie University. A graduate of McGill University and HEC-Montreal, he served as Marie Curie Fellow at the Princeton University Department of Sociology, and Visiting Professor at INSEAD.  His publications could be found in a variety of journals including: Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice; International Business Review; International Small Business Journal; Journal of Business Research; Journal of Small Business Management; Journal of World Business; Small Business Economics; and Technological Forecasting & Social Change.




How to Cite

Vorobeva, E., & Dana, L.-P. (2021). The COVID-19 pandemic and migrant entrepreneurship: Responses to the market shock. Migration Letters, 18(4), 477–485.