Local Advantage in a Global Context
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 4: The Development Potential of Urban Migrant Entrepreneurship – New Opportunity Seekers in the Netherlands
Mediha Sahin, Alina Todiras and Peter Nijkamp 4.1 INTRODUCTION Entrepreneurship has been the subject of numerous debates and investigations over the last decades. It has attracted increased attention in the domain of scientific research on business administration. Likewise, the importance of entrepreneurship as a strategic tool for economic growth has been clearly recognized by politicians and policy makers. However, it was not until the mid-1970s that entrepreneurship was given due attention; up until then the dominant form of organization was mainly the large enterprise characterized by mass production and economies of scope. A dramatic shift toward smaller enterprises has occurred as a result of the joint effect of globalization and the ICT revolution, which subsequently reduced the cost of moving capital and information to low-cost locations outside Europe and North America. Carlsson (1992) explains this shift by relating it to the increase in global competition, the growth in market fragmentation and technological progress. Other factors that prompted the occurrence of flexible specialization have been the reduction of trade barriers and ample diseconomies of scale due to technological advances, increase in labour supply, change in consumer tastes, public policies promoting the small business sector, and horizontal and vertical disintegration (Carlsson, 1992; Loveman and Sengenberger, 1991; Brock and Evans, 1989). Acs (1992) has attributed an important role to the small firms in the economy; they are regarded as agents of change that, through their entrepreneurial action, generate innovative activity, stimulate industry evolution and lead to new job creation. The increase in the...
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