Title: Experiences of ethnic minority immigrant women entrepreneurs in contrast to male counterparts

Authors: Huibert P. De Vries; Teresa E. Dana

Addresses: University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand ' University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand

Abstract: The incidence of ethnic women entrepreneurs has risen in modern multi-cultural societies as women from ethnic minority immigrant backgrounds seek greater economic and societal recognition. Many migrant-receiving countries seek to support this entrepreneurial behaviour, but the difficulty lies in the often different roads travelled by immigrant entrepreneurs with respect to ethnicity, gender, value systems, and cultural heritages. This study considered the migration, settlement, cultural and business issues as they present themselves in different forms, depending on a complex and dynamic combination of ethnic women immigrant entrepreneurs' characteristics and the receiving country's socio-economic infrastructure. The study then compares these issues with male counterparts. The findings confirm that ethnic women immigrant entrepreneurs display many of the classic entrepreneurial traits and attributes of migrant peoples, but also many of the gender challenges. Significant differences between ethnic women immigrant entrepreneurs and their male counterparts were also identified, such as motivations, business types, and competencies.

Keywords: women entrepreneurs; ethnic minorities; immigrants; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; New Zealand; female entrepreneurship; gender differences; ethnicity; value systems; cultural heritage; motivation; business types; competencies.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2012.046478

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2012 Vol.15 No.4, pp.502 - 515

Published online: 09 Apr 2012 *

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