Policy and Strategy Perspectives
The McGill International Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Hamid Etemad and Richard Wright
Chapter 7: Social Capital, Networks and Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs: Transnational Entrepreneurship and Bootstrap Capitalism
Teresa V. Menzies, Gabrielle A. Brenner and Louis Jacques Filion* INTRODUCTION Comprehensive explanations of entrepreneurship must include the social context of behavior, especially the social relationships through which people obtain information, resources and social support. (Aldrich and Zimmer; 1986, p. 11) Ethnic networks have long been recognized as a vital component of success for the ethnic entrepreneur (for example, Aldrich and Zimmer, 1986; Bonacich et al., 1977; Boubakri, 1999; Deakins et al., 1997; Dhaliwal, 1998; Dyer and Ross, 2000; Iyer and Shapiro, 1999; Light, 1984; Peterson and Roquebert, 1993; Ram, 1994; Teixeira, 1998; Waldinger, 1988; Waldinger et al., 1990). Acting as an informal business incubator, ethnic networks nurture new businesses and assist in their growth by providing varying amounts of physical and intellectual resources (Greene and Butler, 1996; Greene, 1997). From the ﬂedgling entrepreneur in a South Asian ethnic enclave in England to a venture-capital-funded, high-technology, transnational entrepreneurial team in Silicon Valley, each acquires a strong competitive advantage through the use of ethnic networks (Greene, 1997). Saxenian (1999) has studied the highly educated, transnational community of Chinese and East Indian immigrants who have started new technology businesses in Silicon Valley and found networks that help * This research was made possible thanks to a SSHRC Research Grant No. 412–98–0025. We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Linda Lowry, Brock University, Charles Perreault and Charles Ramangalahy, HEC. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Second Biennial McGill Conference on International Entrepreneurship: Researching New Frontiers McGill University, Montreal, Canada....
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