The Role of Entrepreneurship Theory and Methods, Practice and Policy
Edited by Sameeksha Desai, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 10: Migrant Female Entrepreneurship: Driving Forces, Motivation and Performance
Tüzin Baycan-Levent and Peter Nijkamp 10.1 SCOPING THE SCENE The main feature of economic restructuring in recent decades has been a marked shift from employment in large firms to self-employment in small firms. This trend has been most pronounced among members of two different groups: immigrants and women. The increasing rate of business ownership among both immigrant groups and women has become one of the driving forces of the growth of national economies, in particular the US and in many countries in Europe (Barrett et al., 1996; Borjas, 1986, 1990; Center for Women’s Business Research, 2004, 2005; Cross, 1992; GEM, 2004; Gorter et al., 1998; Kloosterman et al., 1998; OECD, 2001a, 2001b, 2006; Pearce, 2005; Weeks, 2001). Actually, both ethnic and female participation in terms of self-employment and entrepreneurship are seen as powerful economic forces and contributors to a solution to structural labor market problems in many industrialized countries. When we look at the position of women, some available data clearly show the increasing trend in female self-employment over the years. In the 1990s between one-quarter and one-third of the formal sector businesses were owned and operated by women – in the US 38 percent (1999), in Finland 34 percent (1990), in Australia (1994) and Canada (1996) 33 percent, in Korea 32 percent (1998) and in Mexico 30 percent (1997) (Weeks, 2001) – while in the 2000s the female share in total entrepreneurial activity has approached almost 50 percent in many countries. According to Verheul et al. (2004), who explain female...
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