Necessity versus opportunity immigrant entrepreneurs: the case of argentineans in Spain
The aim of the paper is to discuss what kinds of firms are founded by the Argentinean entrepreneurs in Spain. The hypothesis is that, like other non community immigrants, there are Argentinean entrepreneurs who start up business motivated by necessity, but there are others who detect opportunities in the market. As there is not a registry of firms according to the nationality of the owner, we used virtual social networks (Facebook's groups) and traditional snowball sampling to contact potential Argentinean entrepreneurs. Finally, 214 entrepreneurs living in Spain were contacted. We made a conglomerate analysis using as criteria the previous labour experience, the sector of activity (knowledge-based or traditional ones) and the motivation to start up a business (opportunity or necessity). The results show that there is heterogeneity among Argentinean entrepreneurs We identified six groups: 1) entrepreneurs motivated by necessity; 2) intrapreneurs in Argentina that start up businesses in sectors that are not knowledge-based; 3) entrepreneurs in Argentina that start up businesses in not knowledge-based sectors; 4) inactive in Argentina that is potentially innovating; 5) intrapreneurs in Argentina that start up businesses in knowledge-based sectors and 6) entrepreneurs in Argentina, with previous business experience, that start up businesses in knowledge-based sectors. Except the first group, they are all "opportunity/driven entrepreneurs". Each group was correlated with the level of education, the performance of the firm and the willingness to return to Argentina. The relationship shows that groups with firms based on knowledge are positively correlated with education and business performance but negatively correlated with the probability to return to the homeland. These conclusions have several policy implications, providing policy makers with information about the different activities carried out by immigrants in order to implement policies for the non-EU ones that lead to a system that would value more this kind of immigrants in society.
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