Entrepreneurial Systems of Syrian Refugees as Stimulators of Host Economy: Case of Ouzaii

Batoul Yassine, Howayda Al-Harithy - 26.04.2021

In this article published by Refugee Survey Quarterly, Batoul Yassine and Howayda Al-Harithy look into the entrepreneurial systems in Ouzaii and how Syrian refugees have become a part of its economic cycle. 


This article investigates the impact of the Syrian displacement on the economic and urban transformation in Ouzaii, a major informal settlement in the southern suburbs of Beirut that is characterised by a complex socio-political structure. It explores the potential of “entrepreneurial systems” that emerge when Syrian refugees become part of the host community and its economy. These systems include Syrian refugees as either part of the lower labour force, business owners, or entrepreneurs. The article locates these entrepreneurial systems within the spatial networks and investigates how Syrian refugees create opportunities for themselves and the host community given the specificity of the market that is subject to legal setups and mediated by the political party of Hezbollah. It uses the construct of “mixed embeddedness” by Kloosterman et al. and the notion of “quiet encroachment” by Asef Bayat to understand how the Syrian refugees were able to infiltrate into Ouzaii’s economy and become part of the “entrepreneurial systems” that stimulate the economic cycle and revitalise the urban space.


You can read the full text on Refugee Survey Quarterly's website.