Ethnic minority businesses and immigrant entrepreneurship in Greece

Panagiotis Piperopoulos (Department of Marketing and Operations Management, University of Macedonia, Edessa, Greece)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 23 February 2010



The present paper aims to report and analyse empirical data from 391 ethnic minority entrepreneurs and 132 of their family members, from eight different ethnic communities of Albanians, Armenians, Bulgarians, Chinese, Georgians, Indians, Nigerians and Russians in Greece.


The paper presents empirical data from face‐to‐face interview‐type research conducted between January 2006 and August 2008 in the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia, Greece. The selection criteria used for the inclusion of enterprises in the ethnic minority business (EMB) database were: ethnicity of the business owner; sectors, including traditional sectors and emerging sectors of EMB; and finally location, i.e. in the regions of Attica and Central Macedonia.


The findings of this research point to the fact that the three theories of “block mobility”, “opportunity structures” and “ethnic resources” complement each other in explaining the process of starting up an ethnic minority business and becoming self‐employed, while the “cultural thesis” seems to stand on its own.


This paper presents the results of the first‐ever large‐scale authoritative analytical research on EMBs and immigrant entrepreneurship in Greece, provides empirical evidence to why and to what extent ethnic groups are attracted to self‐employment, in which economic sectors they develop occupational niches, and how strong family participation and support is in the EMBs, and attempts to go beyond most of the existing literature, which is focused mainly on “Black” or “Asian” ethnic groups. The research makes a contribution by presenting empirical evidence of five “White”, one “Asian”, one “Indian” and one “Black” ethnic group.



Piperopoulos, P. (2010), "Ethnic minority businesses and immigrant entrepreneurship in Greece", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 139-158.

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