Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Whilst the existing research highlights a number of important insights on refugees’ livelihood strategies, relatively few studies investigate the role of the private sector as a key instrument for enhancing refugees’ economic activities. Drawing from a case study of urban refugees in Uganda, this paper aims to understand their livelihood strategies as well as their engagement with the business sector. In addition, it attempts to identify relevant refugee livelihood opportunities in the private sector in Kampala. This paper is structured in eight sections. After the introduction, the second chapter provides contextual information about urban refugees in Uganda. The third chapter surveys the existing body of literature on refugee livelihoods, and the fourth chapter details the main findings on the livelihoods of self-settled refugees and their engagement with the business sector in Kampala. The fifth chapter outlines the livelihood challenges facing these refugees and the following chapter highlights potential business opportunities for refugees in the local private sector. The paper then draws some implications from this research and concludes by highlighting the potential of the private sector as a vehicle for improving refugee livelihoods.

More information


Working paper


Refugee Studies Centre

Publication Date




Total pages