Taking Care of Business: Migrant Entrepreneurs and the Making of Modern Britain

About the exhibition


Migration Museum
Lewisham Shopping Centre (entrance in Central Square)
London SE13 7HB

Wednesday–Sunday, 11am–5.30pm (5pm close on Sunday)
Admission free – no booking required

Taking Care of Business is an immersive exhibition at the Migration Museum shining a light on the central role that migrant entrepreneurs have played in shaping our lives – and Britain.

From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, the apps on our phones to the products in our homes, our lives wouldn’t be the same without migrant entrepreneurs. 

So many of the brands and businesses that are most integral to our lives – from corner shops to tech giants – are the products of migration. Yet we so rarely hear this story.

Entrepreneurship has always been at the heart of the immigrant experience. For many, starting a business is the only way to survive in a new land. Others arrive with an idea – and the skills and networks to help get it off the ground. Migrant entrepreneurs are good at spotting gaps in the market, often serving communities ignored by other businesses, or even creating new markets for their ideas.

Starting a business as an immigrant requires hard work and sacrifice, resilience and ingenuity. Migrant entrepreneurship and innovation is a story to be celebrated. But it’s a complicated story that exists within a wider economy and society – at a time when we are questioning whether the way we do business is fair and sustainable.

What role can we – and future generations – play in reshaping the economy and our lives?

Credits

Curator

Aditi Anand

Curatorial Assistant
Ghafar Tajmohammad

Guest Curator – Chinese Takeaway
Angela Hui

Guest Curator – Corner Shop
Babita Sharma

Artists and Creatives  
Anastasia Beltyukova (Tribambuka), Awon Golding, Belén L.Yáñez and Christina Villalonga, Bronwyn Kidd, Chris Paul, Elzbieta Piekacz, Hormazd Narielwalla, Jaffar Aly, Jens Kongstad Olesen, Karen Arthur, Karimah Hassan, Kate Anderson, Kyoung Kim, Laurie Hill, Liam Martin, Mateo Villanueva Brandt, Matt Ferguson (Meroë), Molly Adams, Nabil Al-Kinani, Neysela Da Silva-Reed, Nick Blomstrand, Olivier Kugler and Andrew Humphreys, Osbert Parker, Osman Yousefzada, Raju Vaidyanathan, Rob Szeliga, Roy Mehta, Sana Badri, Scott Carthy, Siu Kwan Wong, Sue McAlpine, Tim Smith, Ufuk Gokkaya, William Molho

Story Contributors
Anh Ming, Anjali Pathak, Anthony and Helena Adedipe, Antonio Nigro, Asma Khan, Awesome Oyebamiji, Azmat Yusuf, Carlton Cummins, Carson Brown, Cesar Quintero, Charlie Phillips, Chris Mak, Corey Johnson, Courtney Ismain, Dame Stephanie Shirley, Darsha Patel, David Kremer, Davidson Otobo, Dinusha Dissanayake, Eshita Kabra-Davies, Gina Knight, Gurcharan Virdee, Hamid Shazhad, Hermann Hauser, Houshang Sajhai, Jacqui Deeks, Jennifer Lo, Johanna Alvarez, Jun Chan, Karl-Heinz Wüstner, Karlie Wu, Khalia Ismain, Kim Willott, Lana Bewly, Levi Roots, Lisa Lee, Lynne Hilson, Marek Gajewski, Minh Chu, Natalie Manima, Nomshado Michelle Baca, Oliver Khondoker, Pratik Patel, Rachel Man, Rachel Wyse, Rose Glazer, Rudi Page, Rupa Ganguli, Saiphin Moore, Sen Vu, Sergio Costa, Shams Uddin, Shelley Lambert, Simon Wood, Snahal Patel, Spasia Dinkovski, Stelio Stefanou OBE, Sue Encarnacion and Kat Perry, Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, Thais Almeida, Tom Tse, Ugur Tanriverdi, Ultan Cowley, Winnie Nip, Yohini Nadakumar

Researchers
Amar Patel, Amber Gray , Amina Ashraf, Anaïs Villaca, Anaïs Walsdorf, Brenda Loiacono, Carinya Sharples, Craig Garrett, Emily Ricard, Findmypast, Frances Ewings, Kamal Puwar, Lewis Johnston, Lisa Lee, Lucía Ortiz, Mariri Niino, Pardaad Chamsaz, Sandra Lam, Shiori Adachi, Susan Matambanadzo, Yingru Qian, Zachary Sweeney

Advisors
Professor Claire Alexander, Gosbert Chagula, Martin Spafford, Mary Boakye, Mohan Mansigani OBE, Nicholas Basden, Nilufar Fowler, Rajesh Agrawal, Seamus Nevin

Text
Aditi Anand, Andrew Steeds, Lewis Johnston, Matthew Plowright

Graphic Design
Andy Bone, Roland Williams

Interactive Design
Clay Interactive, Ilum Studios

Exhibition Design Concept
Shade Abdul, Deft Space

Exhibition Build
Ben Nixon, Benjamin Bill, Charlie Haslan, JPW Carpentry, Peter Bennett, Rhys Crawford

Printers
Darwin Press, Panopus, Peek Print, Trojan Press

Installation Support
Alice Millar, Anton Hopkinson, Bessie Farr, Carla Soares Guariglia, Charly Monreal Pizarro, Denise Woods, Darwin Calderon, Elena Horgan, Elena Panaetache, Elodie Marriott, Fabian Panaetache, Freya Williams, Gabriel Humberstone , Iuliia Dudii, Keming Kuang, Nadina Ali, Natasha Shah, Parker Wu, Petra Pákozdi, Rahael Elizabeth Kuruvilla, Rashidi, Robbie Luxford, Rosa O’Mara, Sabina Grinkevich, Sammie Yochelson, Sue McAlpine, Sydney Davies, Tamara Price, Tara Daghigh, Tase Oputu, Thea Gachechiladze, Yi Ting Liong, Yinghui Feng, Yunqi Wang, Yura Yang, Zeynep Yıldırım, Zuzanna Hebdzynska

With thanks to:
Adam Keppel and James Southern, Alex Lake, Alia Alzougbi, Bellina Adjei, Deborah Hedgecock, Eddie Nooner, Edwin Philpott, Elisa Alexieva, Emily Webber, Frankie Davies, Georgina MacDougall, Jordan Greenaway, Juanita Rosenior, Katy Bryce, Linda Mitchell, Latin Elephant, Maïté Wyka-Soudain, Mark Lewishon, Maruta Velša, Mason Young, Michael Whitaker, Monica Moscarello, Naomi Oppenheim, Rory Carruthers, Ruth King, Samm Stanley, Sarah Caplin, Vicks Richardson, Yianni Haji

Funders
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Ahluwalia Family Foundation, Hogan Lovells and the Creative Change Fund in Lewisham’s year as London Borough of Culture.

Top image credits (from l-r): Deliveroo © 1000Words/Depositphotos, Marks and Spencer plc courtesy M&S Company Archive, Karen Arthur © Rich Barr Photo, Newsagent Alex Segre/Alamy Stock Photo, Italian ice cream seller PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo, Morley’s © Elzbieta Piekacz