Minorities in Entrepreneurship

Minorities in Entrepreneurship

An International Review

Glenice J. Wood, Marilyn J. Davidson and Sandra L. Fielden

Although there is an expanding body of literature on the characteristics, aspirations, motivations, challenges and barriers of mainstream entrepreneurs, relatively little is known about whether these findings can be applied to the entrepreneurial activities of minority groups. This book addresses this short-fall and presents an international review of the characteristics, motivations and obstacles of eight minority groups: younger; older; women; ethnic; immigrant; lesbian, gay and bisexual; disabled; and indigenous entrepreneurs.

Chapter 6: Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Glenice J. Wood, Marilyn J. Davidson and Sandra L. Fielden

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, entrepreneurship, gender and management, international business, organisational behaviour


[A] pattern of skilled immigrants leading innovation and creating jobs and wealth, has become a nationwide phenomenon … We estimate, based on an analysis of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent databases, that foreign nationals residing in the U.S. were named as inventors or co-inventors in 24.2% of international patent applications filed from the U.S. in 2006. (Wadhwa et al., 2007, p. 4) INTRODUCTION An immigrant is defined as ‘a person who comes to a country where they were not born in order to settle there’.1 In the past, immigrant workers were forcibly brought into a country to fulfil various labour needs, and as such, they are not a new phenomenon. For example, since early colonization of the Asia-Pacific region, Asian workers have been utilized as indentured workers in plantations. Such forced movements of workers occurred in an era where Asian men were seen as exploitable workers who were expendable; Asian women were seen as their subordinates (Toro-Morn and Alicea, 2004), and this description provides a lucid picture of where immigrant males and females were placed on any existing societal ladder. More recently, there has been a huge growth in the mobility of people who choose to immigrate to seek a better life, for themselves and their families. ‘Push’ or ‘pull’ factors, such as religious or political persecution on the one hand, or on the other, perceived economic opportunities elsewhere, influence largescale immigration to diverse countries in the world (Sequeira and Rasheed, 2004). However, according to Pio (2007), the host...

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