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Dr Isla Kapasi and Professor Laura Galloway present: "Low income enterprise: motives, values, and experiences”




The Linking Leeds seminar series provides the opportunity to hear from leading social science researchers as well as make connections with analysts, strategists and policy makers from the Department for Work and Pensions and other organisations.


Rates of entrepreneurship in the UK have been increasing steadily since 2000, and in light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, rates are likely to increase further. Pursuing entrepreneurship is frequently positioned as a good ‘career’ option for an individual, with the potential for further positive outcomes for the wider economy in terms of creating wealth and job opportunities. However, engaging in entrepreneurial activity – i.e. business creation or self-employment –often does not yield financially beneficial outcomes; indeed, it frequently results in low-income enterprising activity, with many engaged in entrepreneurship living below the poverty line.

This research investigated the motivations for pursuing entrepreneurship with a sample of low-income entrepreneurs in Scotland. Findings indicate that most often, income generation is not the predominant value sought by engaging in entrepreneurship. Further, benefits (e.g. universal credit) do not align well with the working requirements of being self-employed.

We recommend, therefore, that a more nuanced understanding of why individuals pursue entrepreneurship, and most importantly the intersection of entrepreneurship with their context and circumstances, is included in business support policy. Given, that we are about to enter a particularly precarious economic period, the current conceptualisation of why individuals engage in entrepreneurship (e.g. for financial returns) requires reconsideration. By doing so, it will become possible to provide support that is appropriate to those who enter entrepreneurship with differing value requirements.

When: Wednesday 30 September

Time: 11:00-12:30

Where: Online (via Skype for Business)

To book a place at this event follow the URL above which will take you to the Eventbrite page.