This monograph reviews the evolving and extensive literature on immigrant entrepreneurship since the 1970s. It is based on a detailed analysis of 118 key articles published in entrepreneurship, economics, management, and sociology journals. Our review is structured into three main sections to consider research into immigrants’ motives for entrepreneurship, their business strategies, and their performance and impact. Within each section, we review research focusing on immigrant entrepreneurs’ personal characteristics, their ethnic community networks, and the external eco-system. We consider studies of transnational entrepreneurship separately in each section to capture the evolution of research from studies of immigrant entrepreneurs operating in ethnic enclaves to those of entrepreneurs operating in transnational landscapes. In addition, we review research on the diversity among immigrant entrepreneurs, and issues of succession and gender. We outline research gaps and methodological challenges in immigrant entrepreneurship research. Finally, we suggest areas of future research. By including studies of transnational entrepreneurs, we extend the prior literature on immigrant entrepreneurs to highlight the diversity among them and the significance of their international activities. We believe this monograph will be of value to scholars of immigrant entrepreneurship as well as those at the crossroads of immigrant entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, and international business.
From Ethnic Enclaves to Transnational Landscapes: A Review of Immigrant Entrepreneurship Research reviews the existing literature on immigrant entrepreneurship by focusing on immigrant entrepreneurs’ personal characteristics, their immigrant ethnic community networks, and the external eco-system. These three broad sets of factors help to explain immigrants’ motives for becoming entrepreneurs, their business strategies relating to resource acquisition and markets, and their business performance. In addition, this monograph review research investigating the diversity among immigrant entrepreneurs and their economic and social impact.
The aim is to trace the evolution of immigrant entrepreneurship research from studies focused on immigrant entrepreneurs operating within ethnic enclaves to studies examining entrepreneurs engaged in transnational activities. The authors synthesize the existing body of knowledge in immigrant entrepreneurship to infer the main themes, identify research gaps and methodological challenges, and suggest a future research agenda. This monograph will be of value to scholars at the crossroads of immigrant entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, and international business. It will also be of interest to graduate students and early career researchers seeking to identify the research gaps in the immigrant entrepreneurship literature and develop a roadmap for future research.