The promise and limits of self-employment as a path to fulfillment and well-being at work
well-being, work fulfillment, self-employment, women entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs
Self-employment has been suggested as a way to increase well-being, and a body of research has found evidence that self-employed individuals achieve higher levels of well-being compared to wage employees. However, while there is a general positive association between self-employment and well-being, for specific groups of self-employed/entrepreneurs (e.g., women entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs, etc.) the relationship between being independent and achieving fulfillment, personal growth and wellness through their work is complex and multifaceted. This is due to structural limits, societal norms, and contextual limitations that can impede their ability to achieve meaningful work and well-being while being self-employed. This chapter reviews both the promise and the limits of self-employment as a path to well-being for the self-employed with a particular focus on women entrepreneurs and immigrant entrepreneurs.
Pergelova, A., Zwiegelaar, J., Beck, S. (2023). The Promise and Limits of Self-Employment as a Path to Fulfillment and Well-Being at Work. In: Marques, J. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Fulfillment, Wellness, and Personal Growth at Work. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-35494-6_7
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September 1, 2025