CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS
It is about time that I properly introduce myself. My name is Rowan Rush-Morgan, and In October 2020, I joined Somewhere as a Doctoral Researcher on an SGSAH-funded collaborative project entitled Cultural Geographies of LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurship in Scotland.
Whilst my first year of my PhD was spent reading, planning, making connections and dealing with the challenges that Covid-19 has presented to research, I’m now in the real midst of my fieldwork. The primary aim of my project is to identify networks that exist between LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in Scotland, and to consider these in a geographical context. Geography places its focus on the role of space and place in our everyday lives. Combined with the study of LGBTQ+ business, I am looking towards the how the specific context of Scotland influences experiences of entrepreneurship.
Since October 2021 I have been conducting oral history interviews with members of Somewhere’s Rainbow Enterprise Network. The conversations I have had so far have been incredibly rich and insightful. I am amazed at the willingness of REN members to give up their own time, talking to me with such openness.
My findings so far reflect and expand on previous research. Prior to my project, research has assumed that LGBTQ+ people enter self-employment due to discrimination in the workplace. My interviews reveal that rather than fleeing discrimination, many LGBTQ+ individuals may make a conscious decision to enter self-employment to cultivate a work environment which aligns more closely with their values. In many cases, the opportunity to build community by providing spaces for other LGBTQ+ individuals, is a key driver in business ownership.
Soon I plan to expand my data collection, running focus groups with a variety of LGBTQ+ business owners in Scotland which will further dive into the themes uncovered within interviews. If you consider yourself to be LGBTQ+, and own or run a business or social enterprise I would love for you to be involved. I am especially hoping to gain the perspectives of those less represented in previous research, including trans and non-binary individuals, people of colour, and those who live in the Highlands and Islands.
If you would like to take part in this research, or want more information, please email
Rowan.Rush-Morgan@ed.ac.uk or send a message on Twitter @RowanRush
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