Local Dynamics of immigrant Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship may prove a valid alternative to disadvantaged employment in the labour market and enhance socio-economic mobility. Furthermore, immigrant entrepreneurship can play a vital role in the local empowerment of ethnic communities and make significant contributions to the neighbourhood. This workshop takes a closer look at these local dynamics to achieve a win-win situation for entrepreneurs and their neighbourhood.


Pascal Beckers, Maastricht University (The Netherlands),
Vera Marinelli, FORUM (The Netherlands),
Cezar Aurel Banu, Laval University (Canada)
Pascal Beckers, Maastricht University (The Netherlands)
Jock Collins, University of Technology (Australia)
Lucia Lo, York University (Canada)
Angeline Low, University of Technology (Australia)
Chris Veldhuysen, Arcadis (The Netherlands)
Nathan Rozema, Labyrinth |extenzio (The Netherlands)


Summary/Handout of the presentation of Nathan Rozema:


Ethnic entrepreneurship: Theory, practice and getting into contact


Research Institute Labyrinth| Extenzio
Bonn, Tuesday October 28th 2008 Nathan Rozema


1. (Ethnic) entrepreneurship
2. Theory, practice and policy
3. Research, methods and getting into contact
4. Conclusions


3 out of the 17 milion Dutch citizens consider starting a business. 20% of these 3 milion also have concrete plans to do so. However, only 2% of the 3 million people considering to start a company actually do so.


The ambition is to increase the number of people opening a business by 10.000 persons each year.


1. (Ethnic) entrepreneurship: Facts and numbers


• 925.000 entrepreneurs, 70.000 ethnic (non-western)


• Relatively large proportion ethnic minorities start a business: 14,5% vs. 8,9% native


• Average lower lifespan: 4,4 years vs. 8,5 years native business


• Bankruptcy starting ethnic entrepreneurs declines rapidly: 28% in 1993 bankrupt within the first half year à17% in 2008 (country average = 14%)


• Big difference between generations, shift to less risky branches


1. (Ethnic) entrepreneurship:
Growth ethnic entrepreneurship


As you can see from the figure, there is a considerable increase in ethnic entrepreneurship.
Especially the number of entrepeneurs with a Turkish background has grown in the last decade, making it the largest group of ethnic entrepreneurs in The Netherlands.


1. (Ethnic) entrepreneurship:


CBS, Monday July 31st 2006:
"Half of the youth in big cities belongs to an ethnic minority. One third of the total population belongs to an ethnic minority."


Ethnic) entrepeneurship:
Target groups (total 1,6 mln), 15% of the labor force:
 Low educated (280.000)
 Ethnic minorities (325.000)
 Deprived neighborhoods (270.000)
 Household income < € 1.500 (875.000)
 State support:
 Bijstand (100.000)
 WW (110.000)


à Characteristics correlate


2. Theory, practice and policy


• Important developments, diversity and ethnic entrepreneurship, powerful impulses


• Neighborhood development projects, empowerment, participation


• BUT, focus on problems, underexposure of entrepreneurship and neighborhood economy


• Large groups are not approached and reached:
– Entrepreneurship
– Neighborhood citizens


2. Theory, practice and policy:


– Participation, neighborhood budgets, reputation neighborhood centers
– Theory vs. practice: distrust
– Den Haag City Mundial
– Utrecht, Kanaleneiland, Straatweg
– Arnhem Klarendal
à Lack of contact with intermediate governmental organizations
– Women self organization
– Grote clubactie
– Turkish entrepreneur association 800 members Hogiaf
– Multifestijn
2. Theory, practice and policy:


– Adolescent studies: Amsterdam, Utrecht, Veenendaal
– Tenant studies
– Social capital and ethnic entrepreneurship: Den Haag, Kanaleneiland
– Ethnic entrepreneurship and starters
– Neighborhoods and development/ restructuring
– Creative examples


2. Theory, practice and policy:
practice – example The Hague; Kanaleneiland


• Success factors The Hague combine with chances Kanaleneiland (and neighborhoods such as Kanaleneiland)


• Chances for reaching potential entrepreneurs:
– Personal contact and trust between institutions and potential entrepreneurs
– Communicate real estate opportunities and facilities
– Use of media and cultural activities
2. Theory, practice and policy:


• Getting into contact is essential for policy objectives
• Regular channels
• Collectives insufficient
• Irregular channels/ informal
• Microfinance


3. Research, methods
and getting into contact:
What about research and response?


• Getting into contact / response essential for objectives
– Conventional methods
– Personal, often more qualitative method
– Combination of both: creative,
labor intensive, personal methods
Research, methods
and getting into contact:


Depends on time, goal/ interest, means




• Standard approach (paper/ regular channels), trusted, clear/manageable
• Target groups approach (getting into contact with, instead of talk about), unconventional, intensive, local
à etnopanel


4. Conclusions


• Conventional methods can and should be improved à combination of quantitative and qualitative target group based methods
• Ethnic entrepreneurship and neighborhood economy are essential for deprived neighborhoods to improve
• Practice differs from theory: "Gap of trust", "policy makers make things look better"
• Focus on chances of deprived neighborhoods instead of solely on the problems à involve local entrepreneurs
• Communicate with ethnic entrepreneurs, not about ethnic entrepreneurs to solve the problem of distrust