The place of prosperity in protracted refugee crises

by Annelise Andersen

Mass displacement today

Today one in every 122 people on the planet is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. Movement, it seems, is the new normal.

Global human mobility has always been a part of human life. But in the past to be a refugee was a short-term consequence of conflict. Interventions aimed at ensuring a right to life for refugees in the short term too.

The extreme numbers of people on the move now present us with new challenges. One of these is how to respond to the rise of  ‘protracted refugee situations’ – refugees that are in a long-lasting and intractable state of limbo for five years or more.

The effects of protracted refugee situations are dramatic. They can contribute to ongoing crises, disrupt strategies that aim to make them more stable and hinder sustainable development in host countries and those of refugee origin. Continue reading

Untapped potential: The challenge and opportunity of migrant entrepreneurship

by Monder Ram

Migrant entrepreneurship is a notable feature of economies across Europe. Self-employment often provides migrants – and established ethnic minority communities – with a job, a mechanism for survival in a context of racial inequality, and for some, a path to social mobility. There are some spectacular successes: a recent study by the Centre of Entrepreneurs (PDF) looked at immigrant entrepreneurs in the ‘heartland SME segment of the economy’ (companies with a turnover between £1 million and £200 million) and found that foreign-born owners were: responsible for one in seven businesses in the UK; almost twice as entrepreneurial as UK-born individuals; and on average, eight years younger than the typical UK-born entrepreneur.

But my colleagues and I at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) usually focus on the smaller, more mundane – and perhaps more representative – entrepreneurial activities of migrants.

Continue reading

The global refugee crises: how to crowdfund new ideas for better aid

Corinna Frey is an ESRC PhD student working on refugee crises and humanitarian emergencies, exploring innovative ways of sharing knowledge and making use of evidence and research. She is based at the Cambridge Judge Business School and promotes knowledge translation as Head of Lectures for CUSPE, the Cambridge University Science and Policy Exchange.


The world has a new UN Secretary General and it is not by chance the former Head of the UN Refugee Agency, a global sign that the United Nations are putting refugees and global displacement on top of their agenda. And it’s about time! Currently, around 65.3 million people are displaced from their homes, fleeing war, persecution or natural disasters. And while we (too often) hear about refugees drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, only 6 per cent of the global refugee population ever make it to any of the European borders. In fact the majority of refugees find themselves in over-crowded refugee camps spread across the world. Continue reading