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Iii d - rath skills development for ethnic minority entrepreneurs

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The upgrading of workforce skills is key to the competitiveness of SMEs. In today’s business environment there is a premium on innovation that enables firms to develop new products and services, new production processes and new business models. This requires both in-house innovation and the ability to absorb knowledge from other firms and organisations, both of which call for a skilled labour force. Skills are also a critical but understated resource for entrepreneurship seen in the sense of business creation. Similarly to workforce skills, entrepreneurship skills will boost the competitiveness of local businesses thanks to the improved strategic and management competences of the entrepreneur.

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Iii d - rath skills development for ethnic minority entrepreneurs

  1. 1. Department of Sociology and AnthropologyInstitute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES)Center for Urban StudiesPromotingEthnic Entrepreneurshipwww.janrath.com
  2. 2. Ethnic entrepreneurs A simple, one-dimensional category? Pertaining to mom-and-pop stores only? Ethnic and (im)migrant: synonyms? Ethnic identity may influence daily businessoperations, product range, marketing, financialstrategy, staffing and staff management, etc But this must be proven In practice: multiple variations www.janrath.com 6
  3. 3. Share of Self-Employment in the Total Employment Nativeand Foreign Born, 2007-2009 (%). Source: OECD 2010
  4. 4. Understanding (ethnic) entrepreneurship:mixed embeddedness Personal factors: motivation, education and language, professional skills and competences, financial capital, social networks Opportunity structure: political, social and economic institutions, market developments, rules and regulations See Kloosterman, R. & J. Rath (2003) Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Venturing Abroad in the Age of Globalization. Oxford/New York: Berg/University of New York Press. www.janrath.com 8
  5. 5. Promoting ethnic entrepreneurship:two surveys1. A general inventory of measures to promote ethnic entrepreneurship in 32 European countries (2008)2. A deeper inventory of interventions in 28 European cities (2011) www.janrath.com 9
  6. 6. www.janrath.comwww.janrath.com 10
  7. 7. Why absence of policies? Immigrants not (yet?) entrepreneurial Belief that immigrants were not disadvantaged Integration policies biased towards socio-cultural matters Belief that group-specific measures were ‘not done’ A strict non-interventionist logic prevailed 11
  8. 8. Structural determinants Specifics of immigration history Specifics of immigrant incorporation regime Make-up of welfare state and concomitant entrepreneurial trajectories 12
  9. 9. Choice of measures (2008)Information 121Advice 121Training 107Networking 96Mentoring 84(Access to) finance 79Other 1 13
  10. 10. Choice of measures (2011) Advice and information services Finding a business location Access to finance Finding customers Building local connections and mobilizing transnational links Finding and managing personnel Improving skills needed for business Targeting doubly disadvantaged groups Regulation and deregulation Urban revitalization Involving and empowering ethnic business associations www.janrath.com 14
  11. 11. Choice of measures (2011) Advice and information services Finding a business location Access to finance Finding customers Building local connections and mobilizing transnational links Finding and managing personnel Improving skills needed for business Targeting doubly disadvantaged groups Regulation and deregulation Urban revitalization Involving and empowering ethnic business associations www.janrath.com 15
  12. 12. Patterns A politically sensitive topic (multicultural backlash) No ‘natural problem owner’: explicit promotion of ethnic entrepreneurship is rare Measures – if any – were biased toward targeting ethnic entrepreneurs’ deficiencies rather than opportunity structure 16
  13. 13. What about promoting etnicentrepreneurship? Ethnic entrepreneurship did not play major role in the overall integration strategy For as far as actually promoted, it rarely formed part of bigger economic agenda Mainly offering training and coaching, business accommodation or soft loans Ethnic entrepreneurs unaware of support schemes, or reluctant to apply for outside support At the same time, governmental and civil-society agencies often found it hard to reach out 17
  14. 14. Conclusions (Group-specific) interventions thin on the ground Over-confidence in ethnic minorities capabilities? > support unnecessary Lack of confidence in ethnic minorities > support is waste of money?? Neither demonstrates appreciation of what is actually happening on the ground Missed opportunities? www.janrath.com 18
  15. 15. Thanks Aytar, V. and J. Rath (2012) Selling Ethnic Neighborhoods: The Rise of Neighborhoods as Places of Leisure and Consumption. New York: Routledge Kloosterman, R.C. and J. Rath (2003) Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Venturing Abroad in the Age of Globalization. Oxford: Berg www.janrath.com 19

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