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Visiting Fellow undertakes entrepreneurship research

Thursday, 31 March 2011


The Faculty of Business and Law’s Professor Rowena Barrett, together with Dr Natalia Vershinina of De Montfort University (UK), recently won funding which has allowed Dr Vershinina to undertake a visiting research position in the School of Management.

The funding was awarded by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia under their International Science Linkages Bilateral Program. The basis of the award is a research project, entitled ‘Building the base for cross national comparisons of ethnic entrepreneurship: understanding Polish entrepreneurs in Australia’. Over March Dr Vershinina was hosted by the School of Management.

The project follows up research undertaken by the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at De Montfort University in 2008, on Polish entrepreneurs. With long histories of ethnic entrepreneurship, Australia and the UK present distinct spatial and regulatory regimes, while Polish people have filled a niche in each country’s social and economic histories. Around 10 per cent of Polish born people in Australia reside in Western Australia, while some 10 per cent of those in Australia reporting Polish ancestry live in WA. 

The key research questions for the UK-based project focus on the nature of Polish entrepreneurial activity in Western Australia, and the ways in which Polish entrepreneurs access, use and convert economic, social and cultural capital in their entrepreneurial activity in Western Australia. 

As a Visiting Senior Lecturer at School of Management, Dr Vershinina finalised the data collection for the project, and gathered information to draft a report based on findings. The data and information will form the basis for a number of academic articles. She also met with others researching ethnic entrepreneurship in WA.  

“With the fascinating history of migration by Polish nationals to Australia, and very insightful and detailed stories that we were able to collect, our aim is to expand the research work in the area of ethnic minority entrepreneurship in the School of Management as well as at De Montfort University. The data we gathered will enable a cross-national comparison of Polish entrepreneurship in Australia and the UK,” she said.

Dr Vershinina is a Principal Lecturer in Strategic Management at De Montfort University in Leicester, UK, whose other research interests include migrants and their involvement in small business, new venture creation, creativity and innovation.


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