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TU Berlin

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Maren Borkert


"Today’s headlines are dominated by one question: Are there any terrorists among the refugees who entered Europe in the past months? Migrants, particularly female migrants from Islamic countries, are often portrayed as dependant, keepers of ‘traditional cultures’ and a potential threat to Europe and European welfare services. What people largely overlook are the contributions that migrant women made and continue to make to European economies and societies. My research tackles this blind spot and sheds a fresh light on question how migrant women facilitate (social) innovation and promote economic growth and social inclusion."


Scientific career

Since 2017: Research Associate at the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Technische Universität Berlin

2015 – 2017: IPODI Fellow/Assistant Professor, School of Economics and Management, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany: Study on ‘Transnational Migrant Women Entrepreneurs, ICT and Innovation’.

2010 – 2014: University Assistant (Post-Doc), Department of Development Studies, University of Vienna, Austria: Teaching at BA and MA level, Study on ‘Science-Society Dialogues on Migrant Integration in Austria (DIAMINT)’ funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and ‘Study on "ICT to support everyday life integration of immigrants or ethnic minority people (ConnectIEM)’ funded by EC’s Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS).

2008 – 2010: Research Officer, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Vienna, Austria: European comparative research project ‘Promoting Sustainable Policies for Integration’ (PROSINT) funded by EC DG Justice, Freedom and Security (JLS); elaboration of an eLearning tool on Project Management for Development Practitioners on behalf of the EC-UN Joint Initiative on Migration and Development; comparative ‘Study on the Assessment of the Extent of Different Types of Trafficking (Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation and Labour Exploitation, Trafficking of Children and Organ Trafficking) in 17 European Member States’, commissioned by DG JLS, organisation of international conferences and workshops on anti-discrimination (policies) in the EU as well as on ‘ICT and Migration: Mobility and Cohesion in the Digital Age’. 

2007 - 2008: Research Assistant, Department of Sociology II (Prof. Richard Münch), University of Bamberg, Germany: Teaching of historical-comparative macro-sociology and European Social Science, Study on Epistemic Communities and the Role of Knowledge in Contemporary Migration and Integration Policymaking in Europe.     

2001 – 2007: Doctorate in Sociology, specialised in migration and ethnic relations, from the Universities of Bamberg, Germany, and Padua, Italy: Study on the ‘Integration of Migrants in Italy – Legal basis, political actors and the implementation of integration policies in the Italian region Emilia-Romagna’.  


Research interests

  • Migration and integration governance and regimes in Europe
  • Transnationalisation, development and social innovation
  • Entrepreneurship, migrant women and ICT



Email: m.borkert[at]tu-berlin.de



IPODI Research Project

DiversITpreneurs - transnational migrant women entrepreneurs, ICT and innovation

Duration: 30 September 2015 – 29 September 2017

Mentor: Prof. Dr. Jan Kratzer, Faculty VII, Institute of Technology and Management, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management

Abstract: The project DiversITpreneurs aims to provide an interdisciplinary and multi-national analysis of transnational migrant women entrepreneurs, their use of ICT and role in creating innovation-driven economic growth and social inclusion. Focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises, the project applies a novel conceptual and methodological framework connecting four different strands of literature and research which have not been combined so far, namely migration, transnational entrepreneurship, gender and media or ICT studies. Specifically, the project analyses pathways into transnational entrepreneurship among migrant women in Berlin (Germany) and Los Angeles (California, USA) and looks at their motivation to start-up an enterprise, their support networks, barriers to entrepreneurial activities and innovation, existing innovative practices within women-ruled enterprises as well as the use of new technologies to excel their careers and balance their professional and family life (virtual parenting). The project advances literature on ethnic entrepreneurship from a transnational perspective and it addresses the need for a debate on the gendered character of migration, integration and innovation from an international and interdisciplinary point of view, challenging the “ethnic enclave hypothesis” and the “ethnic mobility trap”  which dominated US-American scholarship for more than a decade.




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