Economic and social integration of asylum seekers and refugees through social entrepreneurship

Starts:  Dec 28, 2021 09:00 (IT)
Ends:  Feb 5, 2022 17:00 (IT)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - International conference - 10 March 2022, University of Bologna

The role of social entrepreneurship (SE) for refugees and asylum seekers’ integration in hosting societies is attracting increasing attention from researchers, practitioners and policymakers. SE includes all the entrepreneurial activities aiming to reach a social objective, regardless of their organizational form and referring both to for-profit and 
non-profit organizations.

In the past decade, many EU countries adopted new legislation or delivered specific policies to support their development. However, definitional and practical obstacles are still present, and are reflected in the challenges for public institutions to design and implement policies that can foster the development of more social enterprises, and to assess the relative impact of such policies as well as their transferability potential. These matters are particularly relevant in the light of the political debates that characterize migration and integration dynamics of asylum seekers, refugees and migrations in Europe, and therefore more discussions on these themes is both important and timely.

The conference aims to collect inspiring, productive initiatives and to disseminate them to national and local authorities, community leaders and other relevant stakeholders that will attend the conference. It furthermore aims to favor the debate and exchange on some of the most relevant issues surrounding SE, including the potential transferability of the initiatives in other contexts, the participation of the beneficiaries in decision-making processes and the legislative challenges faced by SE.

The Department of Management and the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Bologna invite contributions that focus on theoretical approaches, policies and practices, and projects to integrate refugees through social entrepreneurship.

A non-exhaustive list of potential topics is the following:  

  • Opportunities and challenges of integrating asylum seekers and refugees through social entrepreneurship;
  • Opportunities and issues for the transferability of initiatives of social entrepreneurship;
  • Enhancement of refugees’ skills and participation in decision making: diversity as an added value in social entrepreneurship? Opportunities and challenges;
  • Methodological challenges for the analysis of initiatives of economic integration of asylum seekers and refugees through social entrepreneurship;
  • Financial tools for social entrepreneurship.
  • Social innovation for the inclusion of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers;
  • Institutional, cultural, and economic barriers and drivers for social entrepreneurship.

The deadline to submit the proposal is 30th January 2022. Abstracts should be max. 500 words, and clearly indicate the author(s), the affiliation as well as the methods and main argument. Proposals for the conference should be submitted by email to,

The Conference Proceedings will be published with an ISBN. Moreover, the organizers intend to invite the best proposals to take part in a special issue in a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal that is being identified, or in a published volume.



Daniela Bolzani