Highly educated and/or skilled migrants from third countries and self-employment in Greece: a comparison between men’s and women’s experiences

  • Gabriella Lazaridis


This chapter explores how highly educated migrants from Third World countries come to Greece and, after taking the plunge into low paying jobs in the informal economy, become self-employed. In running a business both men and women struggle against exclusion and towards inclusion, gain control over their work situation (income, work hours) and find emotional satisfaction and self-fulfillment. By comparing migrant women’s experiences to those of men, I show how women, unlike men, experience this not only as ‘survival’ strategy or an action driven by economic necessity embedded within existing economic and socio-political structures, but also as a ‘wish for independence’ or an ‘escape’ from potential abuse and harassment, which in turn harbors important subjective meaning for selfemployed migrant woman. Although it is very difficult to draw a clear cut distinction between value and disadvantaged entrepreneurs, I will show that the women here are to be distinguished in Valenzuela’s (2001, p. 339) terminology as value entrepreneurs, as opposed to the men interviewed who more often fall into the category of disadvantaged entrepreneur.


Migrant Woman Skilled Migrant Ethnic Product Small Food Store Ethnic Niche 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 13.
    Greece was the last country of the then southern EU member states to naturalarize its Third World migrants. The first regularizations took place in 1997 (see Lazaridis and Poyago-Theotoky 1999 for details), two more have followed since (see also Lazaridis 2003b).Google Scholar
  2. 14.
    The case of Sofia was also used in Lazaridis 2003a.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    See Lazaridis and Poyago-Theotoky 1999 for details.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriella Lazaridis
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DundeeUK

Personalised recommendations