Ethnic and Immigrant Businesses Taxonomy and Its Impacts Towards Entrepreneurial Education

Ethnic and Immigrant Businesses Taxonomy and Its Impacts Towards Entrepreneurial Education

Eduardo Picanço Cruz (Departamento de Empreendedorismo e Gestão, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil) and Roberto Pessoa de Queiroz Falcão (Departamento de Empreendedorismo e Gestão, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2925-6.ch004
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This chapter establishes connections between the main economic activities that immigrants, refugees, and ethnic entrepreneurs are involved in and their strategic choices. Therefore, in order to support the immigrant and ethnic entrepreneur's education, a taxonomy proposal is presented. Besides classifying and detailing the different immigrant or ethnic trajectories or types of firms, the idea of this chapter is to offer a practical instrument that would inspire and guide future entrepreneurs. Part of the scope of the chapter includes recommendations in terms of knowledge and skillsets, which would be necessary for each strategic choice derived from their immigrant paths. The authors posit that it is necessary to include in the pantheon of fundamental disciplines not only basic entrepreneurial education but also specific works aimed at increasing the competitiveness of companies created by immigrants, reinforcing the need for an education that results in the germination of new immigrant or ethnic ventures, avoiding bankruptcy situations, and increasing the chances of success of these newborn firms.
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The term entrepreneur derives from the French idiom and it is intrinsically related to risk taking (Filion, 2004). Nevertheless, Boudieus´s cultural embeddedness and social capital (Erel, 2010) influences their choices, while trying to serve customers demands, taking advantage of their cultural background. That is the essence of immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurial activity.

Therefore, entrepreneurial orientation in small ethnic firms are embedded in a strong socio-cultural environment, which influences their market orientation. For this reason, either entrepreneurs choose between focusing their businesses on their ethnic communities, or on to attracting mainstream customers from outside the ethnic enclave. In addition, without any market orientation and strategy, many of the businesses that emerge around the world fail.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Middleman Minorities: A minority population whose main occupations link producers and consumers: traders, money-lenders, etc. Historically it has been associated to Jews in Eastern Europe and to Chinese in Southeast Asia.

Ethnic Enclave: Refers to a certain geographic area with high ethnic concentration, encompassing cultural identity of individuals, residential concentration of coethnics and of ethnic firms.

Born Global Firms: A business organization that, from inception, seeks to derive significant competitive advantage from the use of resources and the sale of outputs in multiple countries. Traditionally associated to start ups that are born with a global mindset and target audience.

Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Phenomenon related to survival strategies of immigrants that face barriers for obtaining a formal job. It was one of the decisive factors in the United States' rise as an economic superpower in the late nineteenth century.

Diasporic Migration: The term diasporic comes from diaspora, which is a large group of people with a similar heritage or homeland who have since moved out to places all over the world. Nowadays used more generally to describe any large migration of refugees, language, or culture.

Ethnic Niche: A market niche that includes business opportunities targeting ethnic needs, such as ethnic foods, clothing and traditional goods and services.

Ethnic Entrepreneurship: Defined as business-ownership by immigrant and ethnic-group members, which generally promotes ethnic economic mobility.

Transnational Entrepreneurship: Defined as a cross-border investment to acquire, combine, and recombine specialized individuals and heterogeneous assets to create and capture value for the company under conditions of institutional distance and uncertainty, which takes advantages of foreign individuals that navigate between two countries, at least.

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