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Strangers on the Move: Ethnic Entrepreneurs as Urban Change Actors

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2012

Karima Kourtit
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email:
Peter Nijkamp
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Department of Spatial Economics, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Email:


This paper aims to examine the critical success and failure factors for the new generation of ethnic (or migrant) entrepreneurs in high-tech and creative industries in Dutch cities. The present study investigates their entrepreneurial behaviour with a particular focus on their personal and business characteristics as well as their motivations and driving forces, which all determine their entrepreneurship and their business performance. An empirical application is presented, in which the results from an in-depth interview study on second-generation Moroccan entrepreneurs are discussed. The findings of our study show that, in general, these entrepreneurs are more open and are looking for new opportunities beyond the traditional markets by using modern break-out strategies. This research helps to map out key factors that influence their entrepreneurial behaviour and activity, business entry decisions, and creative business strategies. It also identifies conditions for success and other factors that impact on the performance of ethnic entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, within the broader context of entrepreneurship. These findings are informative for various stakeholders such as other ethnic entrepreneurs, policy makers and business investors in this dynamic and promising urban business environment.

Citizenship, Bureaucracy and Entrepreneurship
Copyright © Academia Europaea 2012

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