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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Michiel Verver, David Passenier and Carel Roessingh

Literature on immigrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurship almost exclusively focusses on the west, while neglecting other world regions. This neglect is problematic not…

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Abstract

Purpose

Literature on immigrant and ethnic minority entrepreneurship almost exclusively focusses on the west, while neglecting other world regions. This neglect is problematic not only because international migration is on the rise outside the west, but also because it reveals an implicit ethnocentrism and creates particular presumptions about the nature of ethnic minority entrepreneurship that may not be as universally valid as is often presumed. The purpose of this paper is to examine ethnic minority entrepreneurship in non-western contexts to critically assess two of these presumptions, namely that it occurs in the economic margins and within clear ethnic community boundaries.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on academic literature (including the authors’ own) to develop two case descriptions of ethnic minority entrepreneurship outside the west: the Mennonites in Belize and the Chinese in Cambodia. For each case, the authors describe the historic entrepreneurial trajectory, i.e. the historical emergence of entrepreneurship in light of relevant community and society contexts.

Findings

The two cases reveal that, in contrast to characterisations of ethnic minority entrepreneurship in the west, the Mennonites in Belize and the Chinese in Cambodia have come to comprise the economic upper class, and their business activities are not confined to ethnic community boundaries.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to elaborate the importance of studying ethnic minority entrepreneurship outside the west, both as an aim in itself and as a catalyst to work towards a more neutral framework.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Carel Roessingh and Michiel Verver

A central theme in the literature on entrepreneurship in remote communities – be they religious, indigenous, rural or migrant communities – is the balance between…

Abstract

Purpose

A central theme in the literature on entrepreneurship in remote communities – be they religious, indigenous, rural or migrant communities – is the balance between continuity and change or tradition and modernity and the role of entrepreneurship in maintaining or uprooting this balance. The purpose of this paper is to examine this dynamic in the context of Springfield, a small settlement of Old Order Mennonites in Belize, Central America.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on ethnographic research conducted in the Mennonite settlement of Springfield, Belize, between 2002 and 2019, as well as written correspondence with key stakeholders from Springfield.

Findings

This paper identifies three issues of contention between the Springfield Mennonites and the Belizean state: the agricultural census issue, the buying land issue and the cow tagging issue. Each of these revolves around state demands for assimilation into (digitalized) administrative systems and Mennonite resistance to these demands based on their religious-moral code. This study describes the negotiations around these issues.

Originality/value

The focus in most literature on entrepreneurship in remote communities is on how internal community dynamics shape the balance between continuity and change and, in extension, the space for entrepreneurship. The originality of the paper lies in shifting the focus to the relationship between the community and external stakeholders, especially the state.

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Marissa Popma and Carel Roessingh

The paper aims to give an account to describe the way the South‐South development programme is realized between Taiwan and Belize.

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to give an account to describe the way the South‐South development programme is realized between Taiwan and Belize.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is the result of ethnographic fieldwork research combined with a literature study.

Findings

The development of the newly industrialized country Taiwan can be characterized by a drastic transformation from an impoverished agrarian society towards an affluent industrial economy. Now, Taiwan is aiming to help other developing countries to walk the same path by drawing lessons from their so‐called “Taiwan experience”. In order to transfer their experience, Taiwan has established an overseas development organization, the International Cooperation and Development Fund. This organization offers development assistance to countries of which Taiwan receives political recognition. Central and South America are the regions where most of Taiwan's diplomatic ties exist. One of the recipients of Taiwanese assistance in this area is Belize, a small English speaking, Central American country in the Caribbean Sea, with a multi‐ethnic, densely populated, relatively poor population.

Research limitations/implications

Future research might examine the ways in which these Taiwanese farmers have integrated in Belize and how their entrepreneurial activities contribute in this process.

Practical implications

After visiting Taiwan's project sites in Belize and interviewing government officials, Taiwanese‐Belizeans, Belizean farmers, and non‐farmers, it was found that much of what the Taiwanese brought was indeed considered beneficial, although incomplete. The links between the Taiwanese development organization and the wider society, Belize, were not clearly developed at the time, not least because of the problems in communicating with the Taiwanese development workers(for instance due to language issues). It would be wrong to suggest, however, that Taiwan's development project was only perceived as raising problems for it did have a positive impact.

Originality/value

Although the first Taiwanese project in Belize was launched in 1989 it has until recently received little attention. This paper explores the social impact of this development project from the Taiwanese in Belize.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 23 March 2012

A. Allan Degen

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Abstract

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

Keywords

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