Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Nancy Neiman Auerbach

Reader 2

Sumita Pahwa

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Rights Information

© 2017 Sonia De Mello


Over the last few years, we are seeing an emergence of new food entrepreneurship across the globe. In the context of the Syrian refugee crisis, these food-related social enterprises are not only providing job opportunities to refugees but they are also increasing awareness about their cause and creating new narratives surrounding their arrival. This present study seeks to contribute to the knowledge surrounding refugees and entrepreneurship by explaining how several refugee food enterprises have gained great popularity despite greater nationalism and xenophobia. In the analysis of food entrepreneurship, one finds that this phenomenon is able to partly fill the void of certain organizations and movements by placing food in the role of the mediator. Arguably, food entrepreneurship assists in areas that refugee resettlement agencies do not, as they provide a platform that give refugees agency rather than dealing with them as victims. These agencies address refugee’s agency as business employees, and in some cases, encourage their agency as women. Not only does this reverse the narrative of victimized refugees who need support from their new societies whilst also providing them with income, it also provides an opportunity to politically mobilize around refugee-threatening issues.