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Identity-work among Black African male immigrant entrepreneurs residing in Northern English regional contexts: A qualitative examination

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andreas GiazitzogluORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This article examines the identity-work practiced by Black African male immigrant entrepreneurs residing in the UK who are tasked with forming credible identities. The men’s intersecting identities as ‘Black’, ‘African’, ‘immigrants’ create disadvantages for them in their roles as entrepreneurs in diaspora existing in regional English contexts where Whiteness is associated with entrepreneurial credibility, and Black African immigrant masculinity is problematised and discriminated against. Drawing on rich qualitative data, we show the men participating in covering and accentuating identity-work to align their self-presentations and the operational identities of their businesses with symbolic Whiteness, thereby heightening the chances of their businesses surviving by engaging with White customers and gaining a level of integration within local White entrepreneurial networks. We position the men’s identity-work as a compensatory response to the structural-level disadvantages they encounter. We contextualise the men’s identity-work in relation to Critical Race Theory and from a policy implication perspective

Publication metadata

Author(s): Giazitzoglu A, Korede T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Business Research

Year: 2023

Volume: 164

Print publication date: 01/09/2023

Online publication date: 02/05/2023

Acceptance date: 19/04/2023

Date deposited: 24/05/2023

ISSN (print): 0148-2963

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7978

Publisher: Elsevier Inc.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2023.113978


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