Precarity, Migration and Enterprise Workshop

Room G05, Room G06, University House
Social Sciences
Monday 25th (00:00) - Tuesday 26th June 2018 (00:00)
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Precarity’, migration and enterprise intersect in complex ways in the UK. Entrepreneurship is on rise, as is migrant participation in the UK workforce. Meanwhile, work is becoming increasingly precarious with the growth of the gig economy.

The intersection of these three themes is clear: migrant workers often find themselves in precarious jobs (McDowell et al., 2009; Lewis et al., 2014) or become entrepreneurs out of necessity or for subsistence (Schoar 2010; Viswanathan et al., 2014). Alternatively, opportunity entrepreneurs (Block and Sandner 2009) can find themselves locked into the platform economy (Kenney and Zysman 2016) or engaged in a cycle of highly precarious 'gig work' (Umney and Kretsos 2014). Moreover, the exploitation of subsistence/opportunity entrepreneurs - whose relationship with the client firm often reflects 'disguised wage labour' (Rainbird 1991) and bears the hallmarks of false [or bogus] self-employment (see Davies 2015) - by firms can weaken the position of labour therein and make the broader context of work more precarious. 

This free workshop for academics and early career researchers, brings together a series of papers, each of which deals with the relationship between entrepreneurship, migrant labour and precarious work in order to develop a timely and important understanding of their impact on contemporary work. 

Supported by the ISBE Entrepreneurship Studies Network (ESN), which is committed to advancing experimental and novel approaches that advance understanding of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship and its real-life practices, contexts and impacts. 


Monday 25 June (Room  G05 University House)

  • 12:30 Registration                 
  • 13:00 Lunch                           
  • Workshop Day 1                    
  • 14:00 Keynote: Professor Paul Edwards (University of Birmingham)
  • 14:45 ‘Kinship and Precarity in (Migrant) Entrepreneurship’, Juliette Koning (Oxford Brookes University) and  Michiel Verver (INST)
  • 15:30 Break and refreshments
  • 16:00 ‘Non-Compliance and the National Living Wage’, Monder Ram (University of Birmingham), Paul Edwards (University of Birmingham), Guglielmo Meardi (Warwick University) and Sabina Doldor (University of Birmingham)
  • 16:45 ‘False self‐employment: the case of Ukrainian migrants in London's construction sector’, Natalia Vershinina (University of Birmingham) and Peter Rogers (Leicester University)
  • 19:00 Dinner  Venue TBA

Tuesday 26 June (Room  G06 University House)

Workshop Day 2                    

  • 10:00 Keynote: Professor Ed Heery (Cardiff University)
  • 10:45 ‘Corrosive Opportunity Self-Employment’, Geraint Harvey (University of Birmingham), Carl Rhodes (University of Technology, Sydney) and Sheena Vachhani (University of Bristol)
  • 11:30 Break and refreshments
  • 12:00 ‘Securities of (Be)longing: beginning and ethnographic examination of alterity, sameness and difference within post industrial communities’, Jocelyn Finniear and Paul White (Swansea University)
  • 12:45 ‘Who works in the migrant economy?  The diffuse boundaries of formal and informal work’, Maria Villares-Varela, University of Southampton and CREME Associate Fellow, Monder Ram and Trevor Jones, (CREME, University of Birmingham)
  • 13:30 Lunch

Register for the event