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A cross-national comparative study of immigrant entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway: A qualitative investigation of business start-up experiences

Yasin, Naveed (2014) A cross-national comparative study of immigrant entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Norway: A qualitative investigation of business start-up experiences. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Abstract

There is a significant need for a cross-national study in ethnic minority entrepreneurship, and in particular of a single migrant community's business start-up experiences across multiple national contexts (Basu, 2006; Greene, 1997; Ilhan-Nas et al., 2011; Legros et al., 2013; Light and Bhachu, 1993; Wood et al., 2012). This doctoral thesis provides a qualitative cross-national investigation concerning the business start-up experiences of immigrant Punjabi-Pakistani entrepreneurs and small business owners who have started businesses in three selected ethnic enclaves in the UK, Denmark, and Norway.

This research builds on ethnic entrepreneurship theories by applying the mixed embeddedness perspective, push and pull theory, and the forms of capital approach to combine agency and structural perspectives for the purpose of developing a deeper and more holistic understanding of this phenomenon from the actors' perspectives. More precisely, this study comparatively draws on the enablers and constraints these migrants experience with respect to their migration context, business start-up motivations and the forms of capital available when starting a business in an ethnic enclave.

This research draws on qualitative methods of inquiry through a social constructionist perspective by employing in-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews and observations of 45 immigrant Pakistani entrepreneurs and small business owners who have started businesses in the ethnic enclaves of Rusholme (Manchester, UK), Vesterbro (Copenhagen, Denmark) and Grønland (Oslo, Norway). The research access model proposed by Buchanan et al. (1988) is applied by using formal and informal methods to gain research access to these clustered but hard-to-reach communities based on a criterion sampling strategy. The data is analysed using qualitative Template Analysis to draw on thematic similarities and differences between the three sample groups represented in this study.

The empirical finding of this study reveals that respondents in the UK experience more isolated and hostile business start-up experiences in comparison to respondents in Denmark and Norway. A closer examination across all three samples reveals sectoral and behavioural diversities among three different waves of migrants in their migration context and motivations for engaging in entrepreneurial activities and business start-up. The role of co-ethnic social capital is crucial to immigrant Pakistani entrepreneurs and small business owners in all three sample groups, and these are bound at a localised, regional, and transnational level. However, the national receptive context and structural features strongly influence and shape the migrants' entrepreneurial behaviour and experiences in the receiving society with respect to starting a business.

This thesis provides qualitatively rich insights into immigrant business start-up experiences whilst also extending the spatial aspects in our understanding of immigrant entrepreneurship. The value of this thesis is inherent in its empirical focus on a disadvantaged community in new geographical territories, foregrounding of the respondents' perceptions, and innovative use of theoretical models from complementary disciplines.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2015 10:19
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2016 21:51
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/23722

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