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Antecedents of business location decisions: the case of aspiring immigrant opportunity entrepreneurs

Nastaran Simarasl (Management and Human Resources, College of Business Administration, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, California, USA)
Kaveh Moghaddam (Management Department, School of Business Administration, University of Houston-Victoria, Katy, Texas, USA)
David W. Williams (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship, Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 3 August 2021

Issue publication date: 6 October 2021




The purpose of this paper is to investigate aspiring immigrant opportunity (AIO) entrepreneurs' start-up location decisions.


The authors used conjoint analysis to explore 1,264 location decisions nested within 79 highly educated, first-generation AIO entrepreneurs.


The authors found that although government support positively influences business location decisions, network support decreases the perceived benefits of government support for AIO entrepreneurs. Furthermore, locations with high costs of doing business are unattractive to AIO entrepreneurs, but financial capital access through ethnic and nonethnic sources in these locations enhances the appeal of high-cost locations.

Research limitations/implications

The generalizability of the findings to AIO entrepreneurs should be considered with caution. Future research should longitudinally examine immigrant opportunity entrepreneurs' location decisions and their implications for their start-up and community-level performance outcomes. The authors also encourage replication of the study.

Practical implications

The findings of this study have implications for AIO entrepreneurs who intend to make start-up location decisions. Also, government policymakers can use the findings of this study to better attract AIO entrepreneurs to different locations.


By integrating ethnic enclave theory and location theory, this research contributes to theory and practice about immigrant opportunity entrepreneurs' start-up location decisions which are currently underexplored in the immigrant entrepreneurship literature.



Simarasl, N., Moghaddam, K. and Williams, D.W. (2021), "Antecedents of business location decisions: the case of aspiring immigrant opportunity entrepreneurs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 28 No. 7, pp. 1075-1094.



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