Immigrant Businesses

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Venturing Abroad in the Age of Globalization

edited by Jan Rath

Migration, Minorities, and Citizenship Series
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan Press, 2000; New York:  St Martins Press, 2000

352pp, bibliography, index
isbn 0-333-68314-5 and 0-312-22775-2
Click here to order the book


In the past few years, a considerable of immigrants have established their own businesses. In doing so, they have contributed in many ways to the economic development of American and European metropolitan areas. Some businesses have been incorporated into the mainstream, while others have stayed on the economic fringes: more often than not their entrepreneurship involves low-level activities taking place on the fringe of the urban economy. They operate at the lower end of the market where obstacles to admission are weakest, but even here they lead a difficult existence economically. Although immigrant entrepreneurs work long hours–often assisted by family, co-ethnics or other immigrants–profit gains are often minimal, and–judged by the standards of established businesses–their corporate management leaves much to be desired[, with conditions of labour below standard. In addition, they often resort to all sorts of illegal practices, varying from tax fraud to the employment of undocumented immigrants. This in turn leads to reactions on the part of government or other controlling agencies or advocacy groups which may threaten the continuity of the enterprise.

In this book a number of these processes and their interrelationship are submitted to more detailed theoretical study. A first point of departure is that the opportunities and strategies of entrepreneurs are closely linked to their relations within economic, politico-institutional and social environments. In practice, they will depend on the precise mixture of these various types of embeddedness. A second point of departure is that this exploration can only be optimally carried out if insights from other complementary disciplines are used. It is evident that the study of small-scale ethnic entrepreneurship can only be fruitful if it is not limited to economic sociology but widens its field of vision to include, for example, disciplines such as business economics and international political economics.



1 Introduction
Immigrant businesses and their economic, politico-institutional, and social environment
Jan Rath


Chapter 1
Regionalization in a globalizing world. The emergence of clothing sweatshops in the
European Union
by Stephan Raes


Chapter 2
Market potential as a decisive influence on the performance of ethnic minority business
by Trevor Jones, Giles Barrett and David McEvoy


Chapter 3
Location matters. Ethnic entrepreneurs and the spatial context
by Ans Rekers and Ronald Van Kempen


Chapter 4
Small firm financial management and immigrant entrepreneurship
by Robert Watson, Kevin Keasey and Mae Baker


Chapter 5
Immigrant entrepreneurship and the institutional conteaxt. A theoretical exploration
by Robert Kloosterman


Chapter 6
State regulatory regimes and immigrant informal economic activity
by Gary Freeman and Nedim Ogelman


Chapter 7
The economic theory of ethnic conflict. A critique and reformulation
by Roger Waldinger


Chapter 8
The social capital of ethnic entrepreneurs and their business success
by Henk Flap, Adem Kumcu and Bert Bulder


Chapter 9
Globalization and migration networks
by Ivan Light


Chapter 10
International migration, undocumented immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurship
by Richard Staring