Neighbourhoods, Households and Homes
Edited by Colin Mason, Darja Reuschke, Stephen Syrett and Maarten van Ham
Chapter 8: Ethnic entrepreneurship: interlinked business and residential location choices
Research on migrants’ location choice generally focuses on either the residential location choice or the business location choice of migrant entrepreneurs, while little attention has been paid to the interrelationship between the two. This chapter examines this interrelationship, using second-generation Turkish entrepreneurs as an example. Empirical evidence is based on qualitative interviews with entrepreneurs, including home-based entrepreneurs in urban neighbourhoods in Germany’s Ruhr region. Special attention is paid to the location choice of those migrant entrepreneurs who have set up their businesses or remained in neighbourhoods with high migrant concentrations, as opposed to those in predominantly German neighbourhoods. The empirical analysis is structured by the evolving themes of market access, social embeddedness and family embeddedness. The findings point to some well-known aspects, as acknowledged in the relevant literature explaining business location choice in neighbourhoods with high migrant concentrations, such as proximity to customers, market potential or the availability of cheap business premises. The findings also confirm the relevance of local networks and social embeddedness in explaining residential and business location choice. The relevance of the family context and the convenience of a firm’s proximity to the entrepreneur’s home also play a role. However, these factors cannot wholly explain decisions on where entrepreneurs choose to live and work. The findings show that the lack of access to certain segments of the housing market and commercial premises market as a result of discrimination or social distance influences decision making.
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