World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship
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World Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurship

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This comprehensive reference work, written by some of the most eminent academics in the field, contains entries on numerous aspects of entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 16: Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship

Léo-Paul Dana and Michael Morris


Léo-Paul Dana and Michael Morris Entrepreneurship and immigration represent two of the most significant global trends in these early years of the twenty-first century. Both are occurring at historically unprecedented levels throughout the world. Dana (2007b) made it clear that these are not unrelated trends. Research over the past 40 years has demonstrated that immigrants often create new ventures at a higher per capita rate than populations in general. Yet, current knowledge of the ways in which immigrants and other minorities create ventures, the types of ventures they create and the outcomes of those ventures remains limited. As such, it becomes less clear how much we can generalize about immigrant or minority group entrepreneurship. Indeed there are important differences among immigrant groups. The Government of Canada found that per 1000 Filipino workers in Canada, 18 were self-employed; the same reported that per 1000 Greek workers in Canada, 124 were self-employed (Dana, 1991). How can such differences be explained? Other differences are also apparent across immigrant groups. For instance, while immigrant entrepreneurs are often characterized as having been forced into entrepreneurship because of limited opportunities within a host country, research studies (see Dana, 2007b) have demonstrated that a wide range of motives drive their behaviour. Furthermore, countries differ significantly in the extent to which they actively encourage entrepreneurial behaviour among new arrivals. Similarly, while one might conclude that immigrants only create lifestyle or ‘mom and pop’ type ventures concentrated in the retail sector, research suggests that significant diversity exists in...

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