Social Enterprise and CALD Refugee Settlement Experience

  • Eric Kong
  • Sue Bishop
  • Eddy Iles


Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) refugees are facing challenges when settling in Australia. For instance, they face greater difficulties in transferring their prior labour market experiences into the Australian labour market, and thus they often have higher unemployment rates or are at an earnings disadvantage that may lead to disaffection and community unrest in the long run (Green, Kler, & Leeves, Economics of Education Review 420–432, 2007). One way to create pathways to better settlement experiences for these people is through social enterprises. Social enterprises have emerged as a strategic response to the challenges that traditional non-profit organisations face since the introduction of the public sector reform movement in the 1980s (Weerawardena & Sullivan-Mort, Journal of World Business 21–35, 2006). Social enterprises help to formulate social capital that fosters greater social interaction and learning in a diverse society (Hasan, Pacific Journal of Public Administration 1–17, 2005). CALD refugees are able to practise day-to-day English language, gain necessary skills for social interaction and networking, advance their knowledge and skills for employment or for becoming entrepreneurs and participate equitably in the society if they are involved in social enterprises during their settlement. In this chapter authors review the relevant literature critically and argue that social enterprises can help to facilitate life satisfaction and self-reliance for CALD refugees in Australia. A qualitative research observational method conducted by the authors, including systematic, detailed reflections on the behaviour and talk of CALD refugee settlers who are or intend to be involved in social enterprises, is used.


Culturally and linguistically diverse refugees Entrepreneurship Refugee settlement Social capital Social enterprise 


  1. Borzaga, C., & Defourny, J. (2001). Conclusions: social enterprises in Europe: A diversity of initiatives and prospects. In C. Borzaga, J. Defourny, S. Adam, & J. Callaghan (Eds.), The emergence of social enterprise (pp. 350–370). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Bourke, L. (2015). Abbott government agrees to resettle 12,000 Syrian refugees in Australia. Retrieved from
  3. Bull, M. (2008). Challenging tensions: Critical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on social enterprise. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 14(5), 268–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chaharbaghi, K., & Lynch, R. (1999). Sustainable competitive advantage: Towards a dynamic resource-based strategy. Management Decision, 37(1), 45–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Choudhry, U. K. (2001). Uprooting and resettlement experiences of South Asian immigrant women. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 23(4), 376–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Collins, J. (2003). Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship: Policy responses to immigrant entrepreneurs in Australia. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 15(2), 137–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins, J., & Low, A. (2010). Asian female immigrant entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses in Australia. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22(1), 97–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Craig, G., Taylor, M., & Parkes, T. (2004). Protest or partnership? The voluntary and community sectors in the policy process. Social Policy and Administration, 38(3), 221–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cunningham, I. (2001). Sweet charity: Managing employee commitment in the U.K. voluntary sector. Employee Relations, 23(3), 226–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dart, R. (2004). The legitimacy of social enterprise. Non-profit Management and Leadership, 14(4), 411–424.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dees, J. G. (1998). Enterprising non-profits. Harvard Business Review, 76(1), 54–67.Google Scholar
  12. Defourny, J. (2001). Introduction: From third sector to social enterprise. In C. Borzaga & J. Defourny (Eds.), The emergence of social enterprise (pp. 1–28). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Department of Immigration and Citizenship. (2011). Settlement information for migrants to Australia, Commonwealth of Australia, Form 994i, pp. 1–6, Canberra. Retrieved from
  14. Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. (2010). Social inclusion in Australia: How Australia is faring (pp. 1–106). Canberra: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.Google Scholar
  15. Department of Trade and Industry. (2002). Social enterprise: A strategy for success (pp. 1–81). London: Department of Trade and Industry, DTI/Pub 6058/5k/07/02/NP. URN 02/1054.
  16. Deumert, A., Marginson, S., Nyland, C., Ramia, G., & Sawir, E. (2005). Global migration and social protection rights: The social and economic security of cross-border students in Australia. Global Social Policy, 5(3), 329–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Eisenberg, P. (1997). A crisis in the non-profit sector. National Civic Review, 86(4), 331–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Eisenberg, P. (2000). The non-profit sector in a changing world. Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 29(2), 325–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Emerson, J., & Twersky, F. (1996). New social entrepreneurs: The success, challenge and lessons of non-profit enterprise creation (pp. 1–417). San Francisco: Roberts Foundation, Homeless Economic Development Fund.Google Scholar
  20. Fowler, A. (2000). NGDOs as a moment in history: Beyond aid to social entrepreneurship or civic innovation? Third World Quarterly, 21(4), 637–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gray, M., Healy, K., & Crofts, P. (2003). Social enterprise: Is it the business of social work? Australian Social Work, 56(2), 141–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Green, C., Kler, P., & Leeves, G. (2007). Immigrant overeducation: Evidence from recent arrivals to Australia. Economics of Education Review, 26(4), 420–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hasan, S. (2005). Social capital and social entrepreneurship in Asia: Analysing the links. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration, 27(1), 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hooghe, M., & Stolle, D. (Eds.). (2003). Generating social capital: Civil society and institutions in comparative perspective. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. Hugo, G. (2011, May). Economic, social and civic contributions of first and second generation humanitarian entrants: Final report to Department of Immigration and Citizenship (pp. 1–322). National Centre for Social Applications of Geographical Information Systems, University of Adelaide.Google Scholar
  26. IFF Research Limited. (2005, July). A survey of social enterprises across the U.K (pp. 1–92). London: Small Business Service, Department of Trade and Industry.
  27. Ko, S., & Kong, E. (2012). Prospects of social enterprises from a framing perspective. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 6(4), 169–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kong, E. (2008). The development of strategic management in the non-profit context: Intellectual capital in social service non-profit organisations. International Journal of Management Reviews, 10(3), 281–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kong, E. (2010). Innovation processes in social enterprises: An IC perspective. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 11(2), 158–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kong, E. (2011). Building social and community cohesion: The role of social enterprises in facilitating settlement experiences for immigrants from non-English speaking backgrounds. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 6(3), 115–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kong, E. (2014). The effect of structural capital for human capital development and management in social enterprises. In P. Ordóñez de Pablos & R. D. Tennyson (Eds.), Strategic approaches for human capital management and development in a turbulent economy (pp. 73–90). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kong, E., & Prior, D. (2008). An intellectual capital perspective of competitive advantage in non-profit organisations. International Journal of Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13(2), 119–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kong, E., & Ramia, G. (2010). A qualitative analysis of intellectual capital in social service non-profit organisations: A theory-practice divide. Journal of Management and Organisation, 16(5), 656–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lyons, M., & Fabiansson, C. (1998). Is volunteering declining in Australia? Australian Journal on Volunteering, 3(2), 15–21.Google Scholar
  35. Manfredi, F. (2005). Social responsibility in the concept of the social enterprise as a cognitive system. International Journal of Public Administration, 28(9/10), 835–848.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mason, C., Kirkbride, J., & Bryde, D. (2007). From stakeholders to institutions: The changing face of social enterprise governance theory. Management Decision, 45(2), 284–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mayer, B. W., Fraccastoro, K. A., & McNary, L. D. (2007). The relationship among organisational-based self-esteem and various factors motivating volunteers. Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36(2), 327–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nicholls, A. (2010). The legitimacy of social entrepreneurship: Reflexive isomorphism in a pre-paradigmatic field. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(4), 611–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Osborn, J. (2008). Volunteer satisfaction and dissatisfaction: The impact on attrition. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 13(1), 84–87.Google Scholar
  40. Peredo, A. M., & McLean, M. (2006). Social entrepreneurship: A critical review of the concept. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 56–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pomerantz, M. (2003). The business of social entrepreneurship in a ‘down economy’. In Business, 25(2), 25–28.Google Scholar
  42. Putnam, R. D. (1993). Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS). (2010, March). Culturally and linguistically diverse communities. Queensland: QCOSS. Retrieved from
  44. Ridley-Duff, R. (2008). Social enterprise as a socially rational business. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 14(5), 291–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Salamon, L. M. (1996). The crisis of the non-profit sector and the challenge of renewal. National Civic Review, 85(4), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Salamon, L. M. (1999). The non-profit sector at a crossroads: The case of America. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Non-profit Organisations, 10(1), 5–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2005). Social entrepreneurship: Creating new business models to serve the poor. Business Horizons, 48(3), 241–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Siegrist, M. (2010). Trust and confidence: The difficulties in distinguishing the two concepts in research. Risk Analysis, 30(7), 1022–1024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Smallbone, D., Evans, M., Ekanem, I., & Butters, S. (2001, July). Researching social enterprise (pp. 1–88). London: Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, Middlesex University Business School, Middlesex University. Retrieved from
  50. Spear, R. (2001). United Kingdom: A wide range of social enterprises. In C. Borzaga, J. Defourny, S. Adam, & J. Callaghan (Eds.), The emergence of social enterprise (pp. 252–270). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Sullivan-Mort, G., Weerawardena, J., & Carnegie, K. (2003). Social entrepreneurship: Towards conceptualisation. International Journal of Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 8(1), 76–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Talbot, C., Tregilgas, P., & Harrison, K. (2002). Social Enterprise in Australia: An introductory handbook (pp. 1–24). Adelaide: Adelaide Central Mission Inc. Retrieved from
  53. Thompson, J., & Doherty, B. (2006). The diverse world of social enterprise: A collection of social enterprise stories. International Journal of Social Economics, 33(5/6), 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thompson, J. L. (2002). The world of the social entrepreneur. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 15(5), 412–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Webster, L., & Metrova, P. (2007). Using narrative inquiry as a research method: An introduction to using critical event narrative analysis in research on learning and teaching. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  56. Weerawardena, J., & Sullivan-Mort, G. (2006). Investigating social entrepreneurship: A multidimensional model. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weisbrod, B. A. (1997). The future of the non-profit sector: Its entwining with private enterprise and government. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 16(4), 541–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yanay, G. V., & Yanay, N. (2008). The decline of motivation? From commitment to dropping out of volunteering. Non-profit Management and Leadership, 19(1), 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Young, D. R. (2001). Organisational identity in non-profit organisations: Strategic and structural implications. Non-profit Management and Leadership, 12(2), 139–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Kong
    • 1
  • Sue Bishop
    • 2
  • Eddy Iles
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Management and Enterprise, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and ArtsUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Open Access CollegeUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  3. 3.Multicultural and Development AssociationToowoombaAustralia

Personalised recommendations