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In Search of Ethnic Entrepreneurship Opportunities in the City - A Comparative Policy Study


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  • Hadewijch van Delft

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Cees Gorter

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

  • Peter Nijkamp

    (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)


The rapidly rising inflow of foreign migrants confronts policy-makers with many socio-economic problems. The negative externalities of uncontrolled immigration are well known and often hard to cope with. In recent years we have seen many policy initiatives based on self-reliance principles for ethnic groups. Against this background ethnic entrepreneurship has become a popular strategy, as it stimulates and encourages migrants to look after themselves with a limited support of the government. Such a policy becomes an increasingly important endeavour in many large cities. Besides the conventional educational support and training programmes, such a strategy would need to implementpolicy strategies aiming at self-employment. An emphasis on ethnic entrepreneurship seeks to exploit the economic potential and opportunities instead of focusing on the problems minorities encounter when entering the labour market. In ethnic entrepreneurship, this potential can be utilised in a creative way, especially if well-organised projects and initiatives are set up.In this paper, various assistance programmes and urban policies in several European cities aiming at favouring ethnic entrepreneurship will be systematically compared with the aim to draw lessons for effective labour market policies. The methodological approach will employ a systematic information base concerning self-employment strategies in the cities under investigation. A newly developed comparative statistical method for categorical information, viz. rough set analysis, will be used in order to identify critical success factors. The results suggest that utilisation of socialnetworks is most helpful to enhance self-employment among ethnic minorities. Finally, the paper offers some lessons for the establishment of socio-cultural and ethnic networks, for strategies for improving training and education and for improvement of access to facilities and financial resources.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 99-059/3.

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Date of creation: 05 Aug 1999
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:19990059

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Cited by:
  1. Sahin, M. & Nijkamp, P. & Rietdijk, M., 2009. "Cultural Diversity and Urban Innovativeness: Personal and Business Characteristics of Urban Migrant Entrepreneurs," Serie Research Memoranda, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics 0033, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  2. Marthen L. Ndoen & Piet Rietveld & (*), Peter Nijkamp & Kees Gorter, 2002. "Entrepreneurial migration and regional opportunities in developing countries," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 421-436.
  3. Nijkamp, Peter, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, Development, and the Spatial Context Retrospect and Prospect," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Nijkamp, P. & Sahin, M., 2009. "Performance indicators of urban migrant entrepreneurship in the netherlands," Serie Research Memoranda, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics 0034, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  5. Chand, Masud & Ghorbani, Majid, 2011. "National culture, networks and ethnic entrepreneurship: A comparison of the Indian and Chinese immigrants in the US," International Business Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 593-606.
  6. Nijkamp, Peter & van Hemert, Patricia, 2007. "Going for Growth; a Theoretical and Policy Framework," Papers, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) DYNREG14, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  7. Mediha Sahin & Peter Nijkamp & Roger Stough, 2011. "Impact of urban conditions on firm performance of migrant entrepreneurs: a comparative Dutch–US study," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 661-689, June.
  8. Masurel, E. & Nijkamp, P., 2009. "The low participation of urban migrant entrepreneurs: reasons and perceptions of weak institutional embeddedness," Serie Research Memoranda, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics 0040, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.


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