Exploring innovation in challenging contexts: the experiences of ethnic minority restaurant owners during COVID-19

Tayo Korede, Abdullah Al Mamun, Paul Lassalle, Andreas Giazitzoglu

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This article explores how Bangladeshi immigrants who run and own restaurants in the West Midlands of England (UK) participated in forms of innovation in response to the challenges created by COVID-19. Contributing to debates on innovation and diversification in the ethnic minority entrepreneurship literature, we explore through qualitative interview data how restaurant owners innovatively engaged with particular resources to secure their survival and longer-term futures in localised economies. This form of innovation is significant as it occurs among a population of entrepreneurs who have traditionally been portrayed as reluctant to innovate and embrace change. Our study therefore explores how a long-held culturally rooted reluctance to innovate intersects with a contemporary need to innovate for a demographic responding to the crisis. We theorise the form of innovation we identify as situated between a forced bricolage and a neoclassical approach to innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2021


  • innovation adoption
  • survival
  • technology
  • ethnic minority restaurant owners
  • Covid-19

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