This research project focuses on second and third generation ethnic entrepreneurs. Traditionally, authors within ethnic entrepreneurship studies have focused on the first generation. Even though younger generations are slowly getting more attention, scholars still tend to focus heavily on ethnicity as a key factor. In my research project, I explore to what extent ethnicity is still relevant for second and third generation entrepreneurs. To address this issue, I focus on the case of the Turkish minority in the Netherlands.In order to do justice to different ways these entrepreneurs and their businesses are embedded in society, I focus on four elements, namely (1) customer targeting and interaction (2) employee recruitment and management (3) company presentation and (4) contact with institutions. My research results are based on six months of ethnographic fieldwork consisting of semi-structured interviews and structured observations. The project makes several original contributions to knowledge. Firstly, I show how ethnicity plays an extremely limited role in most management practices among second and third generation entrepreneurs. I will explore reasons behind this and reflect on employee recruitment as an exception to this trend. Secondly, the project shows how for the entrepreneurs and their businesses ethnicity is not a constant force. Rather, its salience varies over time and is tied to concrete events such as parliamentary elections. This leads me to the final key contribution of the project: the need to bring in the politicial climate when we talk about (ethnic) entrepreneurship. In my view, political tensions can make a real impact on entrepreneurial decision making and should not be left out when we discuss how entrepreneurs are embedded in society.
Research group membership
Research grants and awards
Oxford Brookes Scholarship.
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (February-March 2012).
This research project focused on the treatment of non-EU travellers and asylum seekers. During the fieldwork period I conducted questionnaires and short interviews at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Afterwards, I processed surveys and transcribed longer interviews.
De Doetank (October 2011-February 2012).
This project was carried out by a small NGO in Amsterdam which specializes in qualitative, holistic research. The NGO was hired by a housing corporation to provide insights in the perspectives of inhabitants so that interaction could be improved. With two co-workers, I carried out a research project in a relatively poor neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Among others things, I held and coded semi-structured interviews with different actors in the area. My colleagues and I organised different social events and meetings with inhabitants. In our final report I wrote a chapter that showed how several institutes wrongly reduced problems in the neighbourhood to cultural difference.
Master in Cultural Anthropology, University of Amsterdam (September 2009-August 2010)
My MA research project focused on the tension between glorious nationalist images and everyday frustrations as experienced by Egyptian youths. My fieldwork period lasted four months, within this period I conducted semi structured interviews. In my thesis, I showed how my research population have deep critiques of both their government and the behaviour of citizens. Still, they express a deep love for their nation and wish for it to move forward. They distinguish between concrete problems the nation faces at several levels and how things ideally should be. They see themselves as actors who provide evidence that progress can be made and this ideal state could (theoretically) be established.
My current research will make a practical impact on entrepreneurial practice and also targets local policy makers.