Global Migration, Entrepreneurship and Society: Volume 13

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Table of contents

(14 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xiii
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Section I: Contemporary Issues

Abstract

In recent years, we have witnessed a surge in academic interest towards migrants and their entrepreneurial endeavours. This has resulted in valuable insights about immigrant, transnational, ethnic and diaspora entrepreneurship. By reviewing 158 articles published in the fields of migrant entrepreneurship, transnational entrepreneurship, ethnic and diaspora entrepreneurship over the last decade, the author maps the migrant entrepreneurship field according to the level of analysis and suggests potential avenues for the development of the field. Blurred boundaries between different streams of literature can potentially lead to duplication of efforts and harm cumulativity of knowledge. Therefore, the author summarises the key findings at each level of analysis, identifies the gaps and most pressing research questions. The author concluded that the field would benefit from (1) more specific definitions and assessment of whether observed findings stem from immigrant-, transnational-, ethnic- or diaspora-related factors; (2) appreciating the multilevel nature of the phenomenon; and (3) clarifying the boundary conditions. This review contributes to the accumulation of knowledge in two ways. First, it synthesises the findings in the fields of transnational, immigrant, ethnic and diaspora entrepreneurship under the framework of migrant entrepreneurship. Second, it suggests potential research directions across three levels of analysis and in-between those levels.

Abstract

This chapter seeks to engage with and extend the current debate in the literature of ethnic entrepreneurship. It critiques the concept of ethnic entrepreneurship and its theoretical underpinnings. It argues that research in ethnic entrepreneurship bears little reflection of the current changes and new realities in the composition of modern societies. Based on qualitative primary data from interviews combined with secondary sources of data, it suggests that the term ‘ethnic entrepreneurship’ is discriminatory and creates a narrative of Othering in the discourse of entrepreneurship, thus, portraying entrepreneurship as a western phenomenon. It argues that it is contradictory to think entrepreneurship is fundamentally contextual, socially and culturally embedded, and then define enterprise with ethnic bias. The concept of ethnic entrepreneurship propagates entrepreneurial Othering and a reductionist view of non-western forms of entrepreneurship. What constitutes ethnic enterprise should not be based on the identity of the owner. The ethnic enterprise is not confined to a geographical boundary; and the ethnic economy and the mainstream economy are not mutually exclusive. In this era of superdiversity and globalisation, researchers are encouraged to rethink the concept of ethnic entrepreneurship and embrace difference without Othering.

Abstract

A growing number of individuals identify as cosmopolitans, that is, citizens of the world. They voluntarily move from country to country in pursuit of self-fulfilment in both life and work, and construct a cosmopolitan identity in the process. With the help of three entrepreneurial narratives the authors investigated how cosmopolitan disposition affects entrepreneurial behaviour. The authors found that cosmopolitan entrepreneurs share many common entrepreneurial characteristics, such as openness to opportunities, a need for achievement and the locus of control. However, they also challenge the understanding of entrepreneurship by downplaying the role of environment and interpreting success in an unconventional way. The study demonstrates that this growing group of entrepreneurs deserves more attention from entrepreneurship scholars.

Abstract

This chapter investigates the ways in which transnational practices of Chinese migrants can contribute to our understanding of how migration and entrepreneurship operate in superdiverse urban settings. ‘Superdiversity’, as outlined by Vertovec (2007), draws attention to the new and complex social formations, characterised by a dynamic integration of variables (e.g. race, ethnicity and social class) in European cosmopolitan cities. Increased diversity has created a complex range of under-explored challenges to immigrant entrepreneurs, who work within and, most importantly, for such communities. Importantly, for migrant groups in the current climate of austerity, enterprise may be a way of promoting employment and local development, while also kick-starting broader business regeneration. The focus of the chapter is based on the transnational practices of immigrant enterprises through the intersectionality of gender and ethnicity. The study focusses on Chinese entrepreneurial owners of small transnational enterprises (STEs) living in Birmingham, UK. Despite the fact that the Chinese STEs have been documented elsewhere including Canada (e.g. Wong & Ng, 2002), the USA (e.g. Sequeira, Carr, & Rasheed, 2009; You & Zhou, 2018), Australia (Wang & Warn, 2018) and some South-east Asian countries including China (Tan, 2006; Weng, 2014), very little empirical research has been conducted in the UK to document and explore the existence and characteristics of the Chinese STEs. Timely empirical studies are called for which illuminate the contemporary development and dynamics of the businesses run by the new Chinese immigrants in the west Midlands UK.

Abstract

This chapter explores how challenges potentially encourage refugees to engage in entrepreneurial activities and which adaptive mechanisms they employ in order to overcome the challenges. Semi-structured interviews with 12 refugee entrepreneurs were conducted in order to understand the underlying processes of the dynamics of challenges and adaptive mechanism within which the entrepreneurial outcomes emerged. The empirical findings of the study are evaluated in line with the parameters of the challenge-based model of entrepreneurship. A more nuanced picture of underdog entrepreneurs emerges along with a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial activities of refugees.

Section II: Boundaries and Beyond

Abstract

Transnational migrant entrepreneurship is an increasingly important and multi-faceted process. Because of the ‘double transition’ of Albanian migrants, in terms of migration (spatial transition) and in terms of transition from socialism to capitalism and more specifically the absence of entrepreneurship experience in their homeland during the communist regime, we might think of Albanians as being in a weak position for mastering entrepreneurship. But, paradoxically, the evidence tends to prove the opposite. Albanians have succeeded in identifying various entrepreneurial opportunities, and are nowadays increasingly engaging in a wider range of entrepreneurial activities. The overall aim of this chapter thus is to analyse the causes and consequences of transnational entrepreneurship among Albanian migrants doing business with Albania and Albanian returnees pursuing business activities with their former destination countries. For this purpose, the author draws on face-to-face interviews with 50 Albanian migrant entrepreneurs engaged in cross-border economic activities in Albania, Italy and Greece, supplemented by further interviews with key informants, as well as government policy documents. The analysis in this chapter offers important insights into the two main types of entrepreneur, which are ‘necessity’ and ‘opportunity’ entrepreneurs; the emergence of academic entrepreneurship among Albanian transnational entrepreneurs; and the contribution of transnational migrant entrepreneurs in terms of added value at the individual and community levels, as well as potentially impacting on the country’s economic and social development.

Abstract

Situated within a context where high-skilled migration is increasingly being featured in policy debates around the world as part of strategies to foster innovation, this chapter examines the ways highly skilled entrepreneurs in tech traverse their entrepreneurship and their subsequent migration via business accelerators. Business accelerators, which are not just promoted as pre-seed funds in financial circles, but also by migration policy as sponsors of migrant innovation, play an important role in the lives of young migrant ventures. However, based on interviews with entrepreneurs that used policy-endorsed accelerators in the United Kingdom, this chapter emphasises that both finance and migration policy considerations are just tiny specks in a larger picture. This chapter shows the boundary-fluid lives entrepreneurs in tech lead, and puts forth that it is the symbolic capital that they amass through their active use of accelerators, that they then convert to economic value. Consequently, it is argued that discussions around social integration of migrants into ‘mainstream’ society need to be viewed with a new lens, as the symbolic capital thus accrued, is at a truly transnational level.

Abstract

The conceptual framework of Multicultural Hybridism is adopted to reflect the emerging themes of transnationalism and superdiversity in the context of ethnic minority migrant entrepreneurs breaking out of their ethnic enclaves into mainstream economy. It is constructed as an extension of Mixed Embeddedness theory (Kloosterman, 2006), given that ‘Multicultural Hybrid’ (Arrighetti, Daniela Bolzani, & Lasagni, 2014) firms display stronger resilience with a higher survival rate than enclaved businesses (Kloosterman, Rusinovic, & Yeboah, 2016). With further integration of incremental diversification typology (Lassalle & Scott, 2018), the current study adopts Multicultural Hybridism as a lens to explore the opportunity recognition capabilities of transnational, migrant entrepreneurs who are facilitated by the hybridity of opportunity recognition (Lassalle, 2018) from linking host-country and home-country cultures. The hybridity of opportunity recognition focuses on access to markets and resources between transnational ethnic and local multicultural mainstream markets. Through the theoretical lens of Multicultural Hybridism, interviews with 16 Birmingham-based Chinese migrant entrepreneurs have been analysed to shape a dynamic understanding of the multifaceted concept of breakout in a superdiverse and transnational context. The multilayered interpretation of breakout provides an enhanced understanding of the diversity of hybridism between transnational ethnic and local multicultural mainstream markets. This is seen from the perspectives of firm growth and social integration in the current locations and future spaces of transnational migrant entrepreneurs. It goes beyond the narrow imagination of breakout as an economic assimilation process, avoiding the singular conceptualisation of the host-country mainstream market as the only breakout destination for transnational ethnic entrepreneurs.

Abstract

In this explorative study, the authors aim to contribute to the literature on socio-economic integration and migrant entrepreneurship by conducting an investigation into the migration journeys of Ukrainian migrants developing entrepreneurial activities in Krakow, Poland. The main research question for this study is as follows: how do migrant entrepreneurs establish their businesses in the new host country context? The authors have undertaken a qualitative comparative study, adopting an interpretivist paradigm involving 32 interviews with migrants of Ukrainian descent in Kraków and other cities, who are engaging in entrepreneurial activity. The findings reveal the critical importance of diaspora networks in business foundation and development, especially the linkages between the Ukrainians and other migrants from other former Soviet countries, a finding in line with Rodgers, Vershinina, Williams, and Theodorakopoulos’s (2019) findings from a study of migrants in the UK. The authors also demonstrate how as a result of the worsening economic and political climate in Ukraine, many businesses are being transferred to Poland.

Abstract

This work is keeping with the increasingly frequent studies that take into account a broader context challenging entrepreneurship as high-growth, technology-driven and venture capital-backed process. Addressed comprehensively in the migration studies, Mexicans are examples of those groups who are often ‘invisible’ when attempting to understand the dimension of entrepreneurship, since they are associated more like ‘workers’ than ‘entrepreneurs’. This research presents an exploratory case study of Mexican entrepreneurs in the province of Quebec, Canada context. It is a qualitative analysis using a methodology inspired by the grounded theory. Twenty-three interviews were conducted with Mexican residents of the cities of Montreal, Quebec and Gatineau. The main objective was to initiate a theorisation about the immigrant entrepreneurship phenomenon in a poorly documented group and context. Some conceptual categories were built from the perspective of the migrants themselves. The importance of previous experiences, family support and the reading of the territory to detect business opportunities were relevant. Routes of business entry profiles were detected. In addition, the ethnic positioning category (the social construction that is made in the host society according to the ethnic group to which immigrant entrepreneurs belong) is proposed. This category was a key to shape the structure of opportunity that allows the creation of businesses in the host cities.

Abstract

Diversity is becoming the context through which researchers can account for different aspects of increasingly complexifying conditions of both entrepreneurship and migration. Taking a superdiversity perspective, this chapter uncovers and conceptualises what is diversifying particularly in migrant entrepreneurship. The authors identify four different dimensions of diversity and diversification affecting the activities of migrant entrepreneurs. First, with diversifying flows of migration, the characteristics of the entrepreneurs themselves as individual (usually transnational) migrants are diversifying. Second, with changing migration contexts, resources deriving from migration experiences are diversifying, exemplified by the different forms of transnational capitals used in entrepreneurship. Third, through migrant-led processes of diversification in the larger society, the main markets are diversifying, providing further opportunities to migrant entrepreneurs. Last but not least, the entrepreneurial strategies of migrant entrepreneurs are accordingly also diversifying, whereby finding different breaking-out strategies beyond the classical notion of only serving ethnic niche markets arise.

These diversities are embedded in the context of the overall superdiversifying society in which migrant entrepreneurs emerge and struggle to establish. By disentangling the different dimensions of diversity, this chapter contextualises debates on entrepreneurship and migration, including those in the present edited book, into the larger debate on the societal turn to superdiversity. It further discusses the notions and practices of differences embodied in migrant entrepreneurship, beyond the notion of the ethnic niche and the disadvantaged striving for market integration.

Index

Pages 213-218
Content available
Cover of Global Migration, Entrepreneurship and Society
DOI
10.1108/S2040-7246202113
Publication date
2021-08-16
Book series
Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-83982-097-7
eISBN
978-1-83982-096-0
Book series ISSN
2040-7246