Breaking out – Barriers against Effort, Biographical Work against Opportunity Structures

Zoran Slavnic


This paper presents the life story of a single small-business owner of immigrant background who wants his company to grow. His business strategies are analysed both as a part of his own biographical work, and as they were influenced and framed by broader political, economic and social processes. It is shown how his own personal qualities in combination with opportunity structures in the local market provided favourable conditions for his break-in. Breaking out, however, seems to be presented with different types of barriers, such as lack of access to capital, discrimination, and the fact that new markets may consist of different sorts of network that are in its turn more difficult for new actors to enter. But even if newcomers often find these barriers difficult for to overcome, individuals are not just passive objects but also have the opportunity to realize their lives according to their own life plans.

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Journal of Business Administration Research (Submission E-mail:

ISSN 1927-9507 (Print)      ISSN 1927-9515  (Online)

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