Categorising and labelling entrepreneurs: business support organisations constructing the other through prefixes of ethnicity and immigrantship

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This article demonstrates how Swedish support organisations approach and target immigrant entrepreneurs in terms of categorisation and labelling. In their strategic positioning, and as a result of framing and communicating specific target groups for their activities, organisations simultaneously produce and reproduce categories of clients. We argue that despite its emancipatory intent, the process of categorisation runs the risk of reproducing an inferior Other. Adding prefixes in labelling entrepreneurs may replicate the societal hierarchies that business support initiatives were designed to counteract. This article questions the basis of business support for minority entrepreneurs and is a contribution to wider debates concerned with exposing the constructed nature of entrepreneurship.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-260
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number3
Early online date21 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • business support, categorisation, ethnicity, immigrant entrepreneurship, labelling