Global Business and Economics Review   »   2010 Vol.12, No.1/2



Title: Amish enterprise: the collective power of ethnic entrepreneurship


Author: Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, Erik J. Wesner


The Young Center, Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA.
Goshen College, 1700 South Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526, USA.
The Young Center, Elizabethtown College, One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022, USA


Abstract: This paper examines how Amish communities build and sustain enterprises that produce and/or sell goods to both ethnic and non-ethnic markets. Based on qualitative research including interviews with 161 Amish entrepreneurs in 23 communities in the USA, the authors develop a transformative model of ethnic community entrepreneurship. The analytical model conceptualises the dynamic interaction between three forces/agents – cultural constraints, cultural resources, entrepreneurs – and shows how they shape the character of small businesses, which, in turn, transform the ethnic community that conceived them. The results demonstrate how culture, community, and ethnic context mediate the nature, size, and function of ethnic enterprises.


Keywords: ethnic businesses; religious communities; collective entrepreneurship; USA; United States; religion; culture; community resources; social capital; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; ethnic entrepreneurship; ethnic markets; non-ethnic markets; Amish entrepreneurs; transformative models; analytical models; dynamic interactions; agents; cultural constraints; cultural resources; ethnic context; global business; economics; ethnicity; cultural diversity.


DOI: 10.1504/GBER.2010.032315


Global Business and Economics Review, 2010 Vol.12, No.1/2, pp.3 - 20


Available online: 31 Mar 2010



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