This article draws on biographical interviews with migrants to assess their aspirations and capabilities to become entrepreneurs. By augmenting mixed embeddedness emphasis on contextual factors with Sen’s capabilities framework, we contribute to extant sociological debates on the interaction of structure and agency, the conceptualisation of aspirations, the non-pecuniary aspects of entrepreneurship and the role of institutions in neoliberal Britain. We argue that structural barriers drive the formation of aspirations to become entrepreneurs while at the same time limit their capabilities to do so. Entrepreneurial agency must be seen as relative autonomy, effective in strategic decision making but limited to the weak financial position in which migrant entrepreneurs operate.
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- Sociology and Political Science