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David B. Audretsch
Edited by Heidi M. Neck and Yipeng Liu
Andrew Johnston and Robert Huggins
Andrew Johnston and Robert Huggins
Tenghao Zhang, Pi-Shen Seet, Janice Redmond, Jalleh Sharafizad and Wee-Liang Tan
Until the mid-twentieth century, Southeast Asia and North America were the predominant destinations for Chinese emigrants. Amid the Voyage to Nanyang exodus, the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad construction, millions of Chinese migrants, overwhelmingly from Guangdong and Fujian provinces in southern China, ventured to Southeast Asia and North America for better opportunities (Godley, 2002). When these early Chinese immigrants first arrived in the host countries, they were in effect sojourners aiming to remit sums of money to their families in China (Dana, 2014: 259). They also intended to return to China in their old age to enjoy the fruits of their ‘arduous labours in exile’ (Willmott, 1966: 254). For example, Loewen (1971: 27) argues that the early Chinese people in Mississippi were not true immigrants, but were sojourners and planning to return to China when ‘their task was accomplished’. These Chinese immigrants were faced with different levels of hostility from local residents, who saw them as greedy individuals, exploiting their advantageous economic position (for example, Chinese in Thailand; Coughlin, 1960). Members of the Chinese community often were excluded from many formal occupations, which led them to focus on the trade and commerce sectors and act as intermediaries between customers and producers. For example, Willmott’s (1966) study found that 84 per cent of Chinese immigrants in Cambodia were engaged in the commercial sector, which is significantly higher than the Cambodian average of 6.5 per cent. Appleton (1960) found that in the Philippines, ethnic Chinese held 23 per cent of the total commercial investment and nearly 30 per cent of the total investment in retail and import–export trade, despite only making up 1 to 2 per cent of the national population. Loewen (1971) found that 97 per cent of the Chinese immigrants in Mississippi, USA, were operating grocery stores.
Entrepreneurship has become a nearly universal synonym for proactive development and initiative worldwide, it generates considerable interest, thousands of professors teaching tens of thousands of classes worldwide, and generates a wealth of research (Aldrich, 2012) of which this encyclopedia is emblematic. For example, all the chapters are fundamentally encouraging and supportive of continuing and expanding entrepreneurship promotion and all its associated activities. Social media and entertainment are saturated with success stories of unicorns, that is, anomalies that fail to reflect the actual entrepreneurial environment (Aldrich and Ruef, 2018). However, from a purely social science perspective, no intervention is without weaknesses, and there are unanticipated consequences of nearly every attempt to advance one group over another (Doane, 2013; Koopmans, 2003; Levy, 2010). The discussion of entrepreneurial failure seems to have been swept under the proverbial rug, as we enthusiastically march on to promote solutions to problems often only poorly understood, such as inequality, lack of mobility and weak economic development. The field’s enthusiasm is effusive, as the noted scholar Don Kuratko (2005: 578) enthusiastically reports: ‘The revolution has begun in an economic sense, and the entrepreneurial perspective is the dominant force!’ Perhaps the most ubiquitous factor promoting entrepreneurship is the education sector, where interventions occur throughout the world, from kindergarten through postgraduate training and on to faculty and research scholars. Yet, despite the enthusiasm for training and preparing individuals, entrepreneurship support is a poorly understood and weakly researched domain. A recent systematic review reported that: Despite considerable enthusiasm in the public policy sphere, our review clearly demonstrates that research in the field provides only limited and highly idiosyncratic findings designed to help general and technology-based entrepreneurs to effectively succeed. Studies rarely utilize control populations and are based on weak theoretical backgrounds. They fail to incorporate state of the art methods and are typically cross sectional or of a case study nature. (Ratinho et al., 2020)