International Small Business Journal— Marginalisation and Entrepreneurship: Unpacking the Nuanced Ro

When:  May 13, 2024 from 09:00 to 23:59 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

Marginalisation and Entrepreneurship: Unpacking the Nuanced Roles of Sociocultural Outsidership in New Venture Development

Guest editors:
Robert Pidduck: Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA (
Eric Liguori: Florida State University, Florida, USA
Susana C. Santos: Florida State University, Florida, USA
Alexander Newman: Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Reginald Tucker: The University of Oklahoma, OK, USA

Introduction Background and Focus of the Special Issue:
Entrepreneurs are often seen as societal underdogs by the very nature of what they do (Miller & Le Breton-Miller, 2017); that is, they are willing to defy the status quo by taking risks to set up new organisations or initiatives that hopefully, solve problems and create value (Pidduck & Tucker, 2022). All entrepreneurs face challenges and may experience some degree of temporary social or economic hardship in building successful ventures (Sharma et al., 2022; Newman, Obschonka, et al., 2019).

However, a burgeoning research stream in entrepreneurship suggests that when people from underserved communities or marginalised groups engage in entrepreneurship, they may experience chronic or distinct challenges-such as funding discrimination or limited opportunity identification and profitability horizons (Bakker & McMullen, 2023; Neville et al., 2018; Santos, Costa & Morris, 2022; Simarasl et al., 2022). Yet being a marginalised entrepreneur can also yield some counterintuitive advantages, such as the development of cognitive aptitudes such as empathic accuracy and the ability to identify social problems more adeptly than one's more privileged or high-status contemporaries (Pidduck & Clark, 2021).

At the heart of this emergent yet, currently fragmented conversation lies the premise that marginalised entrepreneurial actors may navigate-through choice or necessity-parts of the entrepreneurial and venture development process in unique ways (Chowdhury et al., 2022). This is important for the field at large to better understand. Unfortunately, the scattered and diverse nature of this phenomenon has made it difficult, to date, to form a cohesive structure and related terminologies. Aspects of marginalisation and actors in entrepreneurship immersed in these dynamics can take many forms. Terms such as "underdog entrepreneurship" (Morgan, 2020), "inclusive entrepreneurship" (Bakker & McMullen, 2023), "disadvantage entrepreneurship" (Maâlaou et al., 2020), and "transitional entrepreneurship" (Nair & Chen, 2021; Pidduck & Clark, 2021), show the increase of interest in this theme. But the divergent terms and nomenclature unfortunately, impede development of an overarching body of theoretical development for entrepreneurship.

The objective of this special issue is to stimulate conversations on how various forms of societal marginalisation or "outsider status" influence entrepreneurship, yielding new theories, challenging existing ones, and providing novel empirical insights. In particular, while much has been written on poverty and economic or financial marginalisation in entrepreneurship, we seek to probe non-economic facets of outsidership – objective or subjective – such as social, cultural, class, status, or psychological factors that drive entrepreneurial actors to experience the venture development process differently from the mainstream. Our call to action invites conceptual, quantitative, and qualitative research that tackles the umbrella research question: how, why, when, and to what extent does sociocultural marginalisation influence entrepreneurship?

Themes to be Addressed and Research Questions
This special issue is an opportunity to help sculpt some novel insights and advance theory for potential commonalities in 'marginalisation' and 'outsider statuses' across the fragmented conversations emerging in a broad array of scholarly outlets that often talk past each other. Citations tell a story and help scholars (and editors alike) to 'follow the scent' of where authors are seeking to contribute and in which streams of recent literature. We believe that while the nature of marginalisation and focal points scholars choose to probe are inherently highly diverse, this issue can develop common language that cultivates a more cohesive body of work under this marginalisation thematic domain. Doing so will help authors to clearly frame and anchor future studies. This is critical for meaningfully building on prior works to bolster scientific knowledge accumulation in this domain. A non-exhaustive list of exemplary questions that would meet the objective of the special issue are:

● What role does social status or class background play in venture development?
●What are the most salient sociocultural factors driving an entrepreneur's societal marginalisation beyond economics (i.e., wealth or income)? How to they hinder or help the
entrepreneurial process?
● Do "Social Class Transitioners" set entrepreneurial goals more/less aggressively than those at either end of the social class spectrum who were socialised into and remain as such?
●Are there types or clusters of cognitive or behavioural capabilities that marginalised entrepreneurial actors develop as a result of such status?
● How do entrepreneurs from working-class backgrounds approach aspects of venturing or self-employment in markedly different ways than those from middle class or more privileged
● How does sociocultural outsidership affect the entrepreneurial process and decision-making
● How do institutional factors influence the experiences and outcomes of entrepreneurs who are sociocultural outsiders?
●What are the implications of sociocultural outsidership on innovation and creativity within entrepreneurial ventures?
● How do national policies, cultural norms, and institutional frameworks either enable or inhibit
entrepreneurship among marginalised groups?
●How do historical and generational factors influence the experiences of marginalised entrepreneurs, and how have these experiences evolved over time?

Key dates:
The deadline for submission of papers is May 13, 2024. The journal submission site will be open for submissions from April 29, 2024. The Special Issue is scheduled to be published in November 2025.

Papers must be original and comply with ISBJ submission guidelines. Please refer for submission guidelines and a link to the on-line submission system. In the online system please ensure you submit your paper within Manuscript Type: 'Special Issue: Marginalisation and Entrepreneurship". Questions and informal enquiries should be directed to: Rob Pidduck (