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Beyond the enclave? Break-outs into mainstream markets and multicultural hybridism in ethnic firms


  • A. Arrighetti
  • D. Bolzani
  • A. Lasagni


The literature on immigrant entrepreneurship has richly described the characteristics and peculiarities of ethnic businesses catering to enclave markets. However, several indications suggest that immigrant-owned firms are increasingly entering mainstream markets and changing both their internal structures and their external networks with resource providers. One of the most substantial changes, which has been overlooked by researchers, consists of the appearance of what we define as “multiculturally hybrid firms”, which are firms that rely on inter-ethnic managerial or labor resources to carry out their activities. Therefore, in this paper we provide an understanding of the variables that affect the recourse to solutions of multicultural hybridism in the entrepreneurial teams and personnel of immigrant-owned firms. We conduct our empirical analyses on data collected through interviews on a sample of 130 immigrant entrepreneurs in Italy. Our results show that multicultural hybridism is mainly driven by the size of the founding team, the business’s maturity, the entrepreneurs’ host-country language competence and by entrepreneurs’ motivation by individual goals rather than community goals. This research advances our knowledge about immigrant entrepreneurship by focusing on firm-level dimensions such as the diversity of entrepreneurial teams and employees, which are increasingly relevant in our multicultural societies.

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  • A. Arrighetti & D. Bolzani & A. Lasagni, 2013. "Beyond the enclave? Break-outs into mainstream markets and multicultural hybridism in ethnic firms," Economics Department Working Papers 2013-EP06, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:par:dipeco:2013-ep06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chaganti, Rajeswararao (Raj) S. & Watts, Allison D. & Chaganti, Radha & Zimmerman-Treichel, Monica, 2008. "Ethnic-immigrants in founding teams: Effects on prospector strategy and performance in new Internet ventures," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 113-139, January.
    2. Levent, T.B. & Masurel, E. & Nijkamp, P., 2002. "Diversity in entrepreneurship: ethnic and female roles in irban economic life," Serie Research Memoranda 0032, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    3. Basu, Anuradha & Goswami, Arati, 1999. "Determinants of South Asian Entrepreneurial Growth in Britain: A Multivariate Analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 57-70, August.
    4. Shinnar, Rachel S. & Aguilera, Michael B. & Lyons, Thomas S., 2011. "Co-ethnic markets: Financial penalty or opportunity?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 646-658.
    5. Gilles Grenier, 1984. "The Effects of Language Characteristics on the Wages of Hispanic-American Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(1), pages 35-52.
    6. Enno Masurel & Peter Nijkamp, 2002. "Motivations and Performance Conditions for Ethnic Entrepreneurship," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 238-260.
    7. Antoine Pécoud, 2002. "'"Weltoffenheit schafft Jobs"': Turkish entrepreneurship and multiculturalism in Berlin," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(3), pages 494-507, September.
    8. repec:pri:cmgdev:wp0610 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
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