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Self-employment policies and migrants' entrepreneurship in Germany


  • Maria Kontos


This paper presents results from a European project on policy and migrants' entrepreneurship in Germany. It develops a concept of biographical policy evaluation by analysing the extent to which the biographical processes that have led to self-employment among migrants in individual cases correspond to those anticipated by policy. The study identifies a biographical structure composed of two phases that shape the status passage to self-employment. During these phases, personal resources are mobilized and/or attempts are made to access policy support. Self-employment policies are fragmented in that they are designed to address specific stages of the process. Migrants are often excluded from policy participation, either as a result of policy failures or through a manner of implementation that is frequently influenced by prejudices and stereotypes. Deprived of class resources and sometimes unable to utilize ethnic resources, migrant would-be entrepreneurs require public support. The ‘bridging allowance’ scheme to encourage self-employment among the unemployed currently in place in Germany (Überbrückungsgeld) could serve as a model for a more adequate support policy for non-privileged business starters that would better allow for the participation of migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Kontos, 2003. "Self-employment policies and migrants' entrepreneurship in Germany," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 119-135, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:15:y:2003:i:2:p:119-135
    DOI: 10.1080/0898562032000075131

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:zbw:rwisch:56 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hillmann, Felicitas, 1998. "Türkische Unternehmerinnen und Beschäftigte im Berliner ethnischen Gewerbe," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Organization and Employment FS I 98-107, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aad:ejbejj:v:10:y:2015:i:1:p:551 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lu Han & Haijun Bao & Yi Peng, 2017. "Which Factors Affect Landless Peasants’ Intention for Entrepreneurship? A Case Study in the South of the Yangtze River Delta, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(7), pages 1-18, July.
    3. Suzy Kim, 2006. "Black Enterprise in Berlin: Labor Market Integration of Black Immigrants Through Entrepreneurship," NEURUS papers neurusp100, NEURUS - Network of European and US Regional and Urban Studies.
    4. Runst, Petrik, 2016. "Bedeutung von Migranten als Auszubildende, Fachkräfte, Meister und Selbstständige im Handwerk," Göttinger Beiträge zur Handwerksforschung 12, Volkswirtschaftliches Institut für Mittelstand und Handwerk an der Universität Göttingen (ifh).
    5. Schanne, Norbert & Weyh, Antje, 2009. "What makes start-ups out of unemployment different?," IAB Discussion Paper 200904, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    6. Martin K. Hingley & Adam Lindgreen & Michael B. Beverland, 2010. "Barriers to network innovation in UK ethnic fresh produce supply," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 77-96, January.
    7. Ilhan-Nas, Tulay & Sahin, Kader & Cilingir, Zuhal, 2011. "International ethnic entrepreneurship: Antecedents, outcomes and environmental context," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 614-626.
    8. Jock Collins & Angeline Low, 2010. "Asian female immigrant entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses in Australia," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 97-111, January.

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