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Religious Institutions and Ethnic Entrepreneurship: The Korean Ethnic Church as a Small Business Incubator


  • Hyunsun Choi

    (University of North Florida, Jacksonville,


Ethnic entrepreneurship is one of the key factors of community economic development. This article explores how religious institutions enhance ethnic entrepreneurship through social capital in the Los Angeles Korean community, which has high self-employment rates and active participation among its Christian congregations. The role of religious institutions is rarely discussed in terms of entrepreneurship. The article finds that religion-based social capital has greatly benefited the small business development of this ethnic community. Korean ethnic congregations have acted as small business incubators through social networking and capital accumulation. In addition, the article asserts that contemporary community development should reemphasize social capital, religious institutions, and entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Hyunsun Choi, 2010. "Religious Institutions and Ethnic Entrepreneurship: The Korean Ethnic Church as a Small Business Incubator," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 24(4), pages 372-383, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ecdequ:v:24:y:2010:i:4:p:372-383

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    Cited by:

    1. K. Parboteeah & Sascha Walter & Jörn Block, 2015. "When Does Christian Religion Matter for Entrepreneurial Activity? The Contingent Effect of a Country’s Investments into Knowledge," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 130(2), pages 447-465, August.
    2. Audretsch, David B. & Bönte, Werner & Tamvada, Jagannadha Pawan, 2013. "Religion, social class, and entrepreneurial choice," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 774-789.


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