New Directions in Regional Economic Development
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New Directions in Regional Economic Development

The Role of Entrepreneurship Theory and Methods, Practice and Policy

Edited by Sameeksha Desai, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough

The introduction of endogenous growth theory has led to new interest in the role of the entrepreneur as an agent driving technical change at the local regional level. This book examines theoretical and methodological issues surrounding the interface of the entrepreneur in regional growth dynamics on the one hand and on the other presents illuminating case studies. In total the book’s contributions amplify understanding of such critical issues as the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, the entrepreneur’s role in transforming knowledge into something economically useful, and knowledge commercialization with both conceptual and empirical contributions.
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Chapter 11: Industrial Effects on Resource Acquisition: Immigrant Enterprises in Kista, Stockholm

Tobias Dalhammar and Terrence E. Brown


Tobias Dalhammar and Terrence E. Brown 11.1 INTRODUCTION The number of companies run by immigrants and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in Sweden is almost three times the level of 10–15 years ago (SOU, 1999). In 1998, there were about 65 000 immigrant enterprises in Sweden. Proportionally, the number of immigrant and ethnic businesses is still below the general population. However, the number of ethnic enterprises is rising, since around 20 per cent of all new firms in Sweden in 2001 were founded by people ‘descending from other countries’, which is the official definition for an immigrant entrepreneur.1 These companies are slightly over-represented in the service sector compared to the manufacturing sector, 21 and 17 per cent, respectively. Furthermore, there are important regional differences. The highest numbers are found in the four counties (‘län’) of Stockholm, Södermanland, Västmanland and Skåne, where the number of immigrant start-ups was about 25 per cent in 2001. Reasons for starting businesses are similar to those of mainstream (that is, majority) entrepreneurs, for example independency and fulfilling one’s ambitions, with the exception that a higher amount of immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurs start a business as a means of avoiding or escaping unemployment (ITPS, 2002). However, research shows that there are great differences in business activity, behaviour and performance between ethnic groups, in Sweden as well as internationally (Waldinger et al., 1990, 2000; Najib, 1999; NUTEK, 2001a, 2001b; Abbasian, 2003; Mitchell, 2003). Obviously, differences also occur at the individual level (Ram and Smallbone,...

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