Venturing Abroad

Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Venturing Abroad in the Age of Globalization

edited by Robert Kloosterman and Jan Rath

Oxford: Berg, 2003
352pp, bibliography, index
isbn 9781859736395
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Summary

Migration is an essential component of the ongoing process of globalization. Large numbers of migrants from Third-World countries leave their homes and settle in so-called advanced economies where they have to find a living. Many of them, of course, do so by looking for a job. Others, however, venture on starting their own businesses in the country of settlement. In many cities of advanced economies, we now find significant numbers of immigrants from Third-World countries who have set up shops themselves. As such, we can position these entrepreneurs at the intersection of, on the one hand, global processes of migration, and, on the other, of structural changes in these advanced urban economies. This specific way of economic insertion, therefore, clearly shows how immigrants, using their own resources, not only make use of existing opportunities but are also able to create new opportunities.

With the increase in numbers of immigrants in most advanced economies in the last decade of the 20th century, there has also been an increase in immigrant entrepreneurship. This remarkable rise is now the subject of an international research project, which is funded by the European Union under the Targeted Socio-Economic Research programme. The research team includes social scientists (sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, economists, and historians) from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, United Kingdom and the United States. The aim of this project is, first of all, to get an overview of the recent developments with regard to immigrant entrepreneurship in the different countries. Secondly, to review the research on the subject. Thirdly, to get a improve our understanding on the meaning of immigrant entrepreneurship both for the immigrants and the society at large. This latter approach will also serve as a departure for the policy implications.

The volume aims at presenting both an international comparison of the development of immigrant entrepreneurship in a number of advanced economies and an assessment of theoretical approaches with regard to this issue. Our basic assumption is that entrepreneurship is, in a certain way, the product of national-specific ideas and practices of economic incorporation. In the same vein, we assume that research of entrepreneurship is informed by such ‘national models’ of incorporation, as is shown, for instance, by the specific focus and appreciation of entrepreneurial activities, and the use of specific terms and concepts. Only when the existence and impact of such models is fully acknowledged, it is possible to really understand the typical way in which immigrants incorporate economically. And, moreover, only then it is possible to appreciate theory, especially theory that has been developed on the basis of a specific empirical case. Systematic international comparison allows for the identification of such national models of incorporation. In a sense, one could see this book as a successor to the volume Ethnic Entrepreneurs. Immigrant Business in Industrial Societies by Roger Waldinger, Howard Aldrich, Robin Ward and Associates, published by Sage in 1990. Our book first of all offers a much more recent systematic update of the developments with respect to immigrant entrepreneurship. Given the fact that the last decade has seen a significant rise of immigrant entrepreneurs in advanced economies this is of especially importance. Secondly, with 13 countries, a much broader international overview is given, with attention for both general developments and national particularities. Thirdly, a state-of-the-art review of theoretical developments concerning immigrant entrepreneurship is given, again with special reference to the place of these theories in the debates in each country. In this field, developments have occurred quite rapidly. One of the theoretical innovations that took place after the publication of the book by Waldinger, Aldrich, Ward and others, was the rise of economic sociology—particularly in the United States—with its typical focus on social capital. However, it has become clear that these kind of theories fall short, as they fail to appreciate the institutional framework as an important factor in determining the both the extent and the incidence of immigrant entrepreneurship in different countries. This factor inescapably come to the fore when comparing countries with rather extensive welfare systems such as many European countries and Australia, with countries with a lean welfare system, such as the United States and Britain. As such, the book offers not only an up-to-date reference book on immigrant entrepreneurship in advanced economies, but also a significant contribution to business studies, migration studies, urban studies and comparative economic sociology.

Contents

Preface

1 Introduction
Robert C. Kloosterman and Jan Rath

2 United States: The Entrepreneurial Cutting Edge
Pyong Gap Min and Mehdi Bozorgmehr

3 Canada: A False Consensus
Daniel Hiebert

4 Australia: Cosmopolitan Capitalists Down Under
Jock Collins

5 South Africa: Creating New Spaces?
Sally Peberdy and Christian M. Rogerson

6 United Kingdom: Severely Constrained Entrepreneurialism
Giles A. Barrett, Trevor P. Jones and David McEvoy

7 The Netherlands: A Dutch Treat
Jan Rath and Robert C. Kloosterman

8 Italy: Between Legal Barriers and Informal Arrangements
Mauro Magatti and Fabio Quassoli

9 France: The Narrow Path
Emmanuel Ma Mung and Thomas Lacroix

10 Belgium: From Proletarians to Proteans
Ching Lin Pang

11Austria: Still a Highly Regulated Economy
Regina Haberfellner

12 Germany: From Workers to Entrepreneurs
Czarina Wilpert

On the authors
References
Index