Editorial: Immigrant and Ethnic Entrepreneurship


The importance of businesses started and developed by immigrants is host countries is substantial. Just in the US, 90 of the enterprises listed on Fortune 500 have been founded by immigrants, and additional 114 have been started by the second-generation immigrants, i.e. children of foreign-born persons (cf. Partnership for a New American Economy, 2011). As the contribution of immigrant entrepreneurship for the global economy is recognized by policy makers and experts, it is also reflected in the growing research on this topic. Research papers on immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurship have increased in numbers in 2000s and in the second decade of 21st century, including articles in such respected journals as Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (Drori, Honig, & Wright, 2009), Small Business Economics (Mueller, 2014) or Entrepreneurship and Regional Development (Aliaga-Isla&Rialp, 2013).

Still, this emerging and rapidly growing field of study suffers from a number of limitations. The first one is the concentration of the bulk of the research on a small number of countries (mostly the US and Canada) and few, selected ethnic groups (Latino, Chinese, Korean). The second deficiency is the modest number of theoretical concepts developed for the analysis of the phenomenon, especially the development of immigrant enterprises. Another gap in the current research is the small number of quantitative approaches, as most of the studies remain qualitative. Then, there are several underserved topics, including less popular geographical locations, disadvantaged immigrant ethnic groups (especially refugees), immigrant entrepreneurs at the risk of marginalization on one hand, and the successful intentional immigrant entrepreneurs on the other, and the gender perspective just to mention the most obvious candidates. Finally, the most visible drawback in current research agenda is the limited interdisciplinary approach both to empirics and theory. Although immigrant entrepreneurship research is firmly established within the business/entrepreneurship studies, it needs a more comprehensive dialogue with the migration studies, including such disciplines as sociology and anthropology.

Our thematic issue on immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurship aims to address at least some of the aforementioned research gaps.


immigrant entrepreneurship; ethnic entrepreneurship

Aliaga-Isla, R., & Rialp, A. (2013). Systematic Review of Immigrant Entrepreneurship Literature: Previous Findings and Ways Forward. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 25(9–10): 819–844.

Drori, I., Honig, B., & Wright, M. (2009). Transnational Entrepreneurship: An Emergent Field of Study. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(5), 1001-1022.

Mueller, E. (2014). Entrepreneurs from Low-skilled Immigrant Groups in Knowledge-intensive Industries: Company Characteristics, Survival and Innovative Performance. Small Business Eco-nomics, 42(4), 871-889.

Partnership for a New American Economy (2011). The "New American" Fortune 500. Partnership for a New American Economy, June 2011.


Published : 2015-09-30

Brzozowski, J. (2015). Editorial: Immigrant and Ethnic Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(3), 7-8. https://doi.org/10.15678/EBER.2015.030301

Jan Brzozowski  brzozowj@uek.krakow.pl
Cracow University of Economics  Poland

Assistant Professor at the Cracow University of Economics, Faculty of Economics and International Relations, Department of European Studies

PhD in economics within the specialisation on higly skilled workers mobility.

his his reserach interests include international migration and development, economic integration of immigrants, labour market policies and entrepreneurship.

Member of the editorial board of Polish Diaspora and Migration Studies Reviev (Studia migracyjne-Przegląd polonijny, ERIH, ISSN: 0137-303X) and the Commitee for Migration Research at the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a CC BY-ND licence that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are asked to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.

 Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access). We advise to use any of the following reserach society portals: