Immigrant entrepreneurship on the move: a longitudinal analysis of first- and second-generation immigrant entrepreneurship in the Netherlands

Second-generation immigrants starting businesses in industries not traditionally associated with immigrants have inspired a new line of research on migrant entrepreneurship. New entrepreneurs are expected to profit from better economic prospects arising from the relatively high levels of human capital available to them and improved integration into society compared to their parents’ generation. So far, it is unclear whether these expectations have been met owing to a lack of reliable data on immigrants in general and immigrant entrepreneurs in particular. This paper uses newly available data from Statistics Netherlands (1999?2004) to compare the differences between the business success of second- and first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs. The data enable us to compare these intergenerational differences for each of five major non-Western groups of immigrants in the Netherlands and contrast them with developments among native entrepreneurs from both inter-temporal and longitudinal perspectives. Contrary to expectations, the higher levels of socio-cultural integration of second-generation immigrants do not necessarily lead to better business prospects. The differences between the major ethnic groups of immigrants are noteworthy, as are those with non-immigrant entrepreneurs. While high levels of human capital and social integration foster entrepreneurial success, they are no guarantee of good business prospects.

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Entrepreneurship & Regional Development
Pascal Beckers
Boris Blumberg
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