Born Entrepreneurs?: Immigrant Self-Employment in Spain by Nahikari Irastorza

By Nahikari Irastorza

Are immigrants extra enterprising than natives in Spain? How profitable are migrant marketers in comparison to those that begin companies of their nation of delivery? With the expansion of migration all over the world, questions comparable to those are garnering the eye of economists, policymakers and students. Born marketers? asks how foreignness impacts an immigrant's skill to release and to develop a profitable company. It additionally explores the commercial and social merits that immigrants may derive from self-employment and the original components at play in so-called ethnic and immigrant entrepreneurship.

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Extra info for Born Entrepreneurs?: Immigrant Self-Employment in Spain

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Economic integration is one of the 60 BORN ENTREPRENEURS? main objectives of immigrants to Europe. Due to high unemployment rates, it is difficult to find a satisfactory job in Europe. The difficulties experienced by foreigners looking for employment are magnified since they have to deal with an additional liability of foreignness. Within this context, entrepreneurship emerges as an alternative to unemployment and a mechanism to overcome difficult labour market barriers for many foreigners. The literature on ethnic and immigrant entrepreneurship has focused on examining the reasons that motivate foreign entrepreneurs to start up firms (Levie 2005; Schuetze 2005; Basu and Altinay 2002; Bates 1997; Ward and Jenkins 1984).

Conventional wisdom suggests that human capital factors as well as personal characteristics such as education, experience, age and the gender of entrepreneurs affect venture success. Older, more educated and experienced entrepreneurs are expected to perform better than younger, less educated and experienced entrepreneurs (Bates 1997; Schutjens and Wever 2000; Fertala 2004, Arias et al. 2004). Given the limitations of my database and based on past studies on entrepreneurs’ human capital (Zacharaskis 1999; Honing 2001; Peña 2002) and on ethnic entrepreneurship (Light 1984; Aldrich and Waldinger 1990; Mata and Pendakur 1999), I will consider the age and the gender of entrepreneurs as person-related factors that affect business performance.

Additional barriers such as poor language skills, the lack of labour experience and human capital attributes required in the host country, and discrimination. It has been argued that the composition of immigrant entrepreneurs from less-developed countries, in terms of their human, financial, social and cultural capital, is different from that of the native population and that this is the main reason why they mainly enter industries that usually require small outlays of capital and low levels of education (Kloosterman and Rath 2001).

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