Contextualising migrant black business women's work-life balance experiences

Cynthia Forson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Employing a feminist relational lens, the purpose of this paper is to explore the work-life balance experiences of black migrant women entrepreneurs, examining the relationship between macro, meso and micro levels of business activity. The paper examines the obstacles raised and oportunities enabled by the confrontation and negotiation between the private and public space.
Design/methodology/approach - Qualitative methods are used and the paper draws on semi-structured indepth interviews with 29 black women business owners in the legal and black hairdressing sectors in London. The analysis of the paper is informed by an relational approach that recognises the embedded nature of business activity in differing levels of social action.
Findings - The analysis reveals that ability of the women in the study to manage their work-life balance was shaped by power relations and social interactions between and within cultural, structural and agentic dimensions of small business ownership.
Originality/value - This paper contributes to the literature on business and entrepreneurial behaviour of women by embedding work-life balance experiences of black migrant women in context of relations between and within macro, meso and micro levels. It conceptualises the behaviour of the women in the study in terms of confrontations, negotiations and dialogue between notions of motherhood, femininity, family and entrepreneurship at the societal, institutional and individual levels. In so doing the paper expands the literature on minority entrepreneurship and underscores the interconnected nature of these three levels to produce unique experiences for individual migrant women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-477
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Issue number5
Early online date1 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • work-life balance, gender, migrant entrepreneurs, law, hairdressing


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