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Global dynamics of immigrant entrepreneurship: Changing trends, ethnonational variations, and reconceptualizations

Jennifer Nazareno (Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA)
Min Zhou (University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Tianlong You (Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 17 August 2018

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019




The purpose of this paper is to review the existing literature on immigrant entrepreneurship since the mid-2000s to examine the changing trends, variations and theoretical advances in immigrant entrepreneurship in Western societies.


Using the SocIndex and Proquest Business Premium databases, the authors conducted a literature review of about 100 peer-reviewed articles published since the mid-2000s. The authors critically assess the main research findings, identify key concepts and models that have been developed over the past decade, and offer new theoretical insight into the ever-changing global dynamics of immigrant entrepreneurship. Although the focus is on the USA, the authors also include some seminal research based in other Western countries of immigrant reception.


Based on a critical review of existing research that has been published between 2004 and the present, the authors highlight main trends and variations of the entrepreneurial endeavors among diasporic migrants, address the emerging forces shaping immigrant entrepreneurship, highlight theoretical advances in the field of entrepreneurship studies, and suggest new directions for future research. The authors note that the changing trends and ethnonational variations are caused not only by unequal access to human capital, social capital, financial capital, and cross-border venture capital on the part of individual entrepreneurs, but also by differences in broader structural circumstances in the home country and/or host country and interaction between national/local and transnational/global forces. The authors discuss new theoretical advances, identify gaps and raise questions for future research.


The review offers important insight into the ever-changing local and global dynamics of immigrant entrepreneurship and broadens the established conceptual and theoretical models in the sociology of immigrant/ethnic entrepreneurship.



Nazareno, J., Zhou, M. and You, T. (2019), "Global dynamics of immigrant entrepreneurship: Changing trends, ethnonational variations, and reconceptualizations", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 780-800.



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