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Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship

Ekonomihögskolan vid Lunds universitet

Immigrant entrepreneurship

Research programme

Programme Director: Craig Mitchell

The researchers involved within the area are presented in connection with each specific project below.

Introduction to research programme

While the fertile study of immigrant entrepreneurship has prospered internationally, research on the phenomenon in Sweden has barely scratched the surface. It is what we could call a blank page with fragmented “bits and pieces” filling the voids at the moment. While this is a start, researchers and policy makers are relying on studies which were conducted with the United States, the United Kingdom and to some extent the Netherlands in mind. The Swedish immigration picture as we know is different to these countries and while studies from these countries may be relevant in some areas, they also fall short in others. Highlighting aspects of immigrant entrepreneurship in Sweden and thus building upon our knowledge base and understanding, is of paramount importance: The more we understand the more we can do to build upon and support the actions of these individuals, who are not only contributing to themselves and their own communities but to the economy as a whole.

The research programme builds upon what we already know about immigrant entrepreneurship in Sweden and attempts to contextualise previous international findings into the Swedish milieu. What we will show in the body of this research program is that the research opportunities in this area are plentiful, diverse and most importantly are valuable contributions to the field.

At Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship we have began a new and ambitious research program on immigrant entrepreneurship, which builds importantly on previous research on immigrant entrepreneurship and mainstream entrepreneurship. Previous immigrant entrepreneurship research has tended to focus upon the intricacies of the prefixes ‘immigrant’ and/or ‘ethnic’, which has led to an emphasis on structural and cultural factors. Though, to a large extent the research area has ignored the economic motives of these individuals. On the other hand entrepreneurship research has championed the entrepreneurial motives and strategies of entrepreneurs. We at Sten K. Johnson Centre for Entrepreneurship have taken the viewpoint that there are lots of research opportunities, if we take a combined view of immigrant entrepreneurs and study the phenomenon, using both traditional immigrant entrepreneurship and more mainstream entrepreneurship research.

The research program aims to contribute with critical insights that benefit both the academically community as well as the surrounding society.

 

Current research projects

Immigrant entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial strategies and societal structures

In this area we have the following research projects/efforts:

 

Previous areas of focus

Intermediates and immigrant entrepreneurship

Immigrant entrepreneurship is often presented and discussed as a solution of economic and social problems. They – the immigrant entrepreneur – have become a prefixed sub category, but what do the differences imply for the provided support? What models are suitable, and what models are not? What does it mean to become a prefixed entrepreneur?

In this area we have the following research projects/efforts:

Immigrant entrepreneurship and the transformation of the welfare state

The Swedish society is under change, a process that may be described as a process from a social democratic welfare state to a social democratic welfare state influenced by globalization and neo liberalism. The policy’s is characterized by increased role of mainstream entrepreneurship and of immigrant entrepreneurship as a solution of different problems. How can we understand the relation between macro changes in the welfare state and the development of policy’s on immigrant entrepreneurship? How can we understand changes in the welfare state in terms of deregulations and increased roles of semi-privatization for example the social- and health care sector as a opportunity structure for immigrant entrepreneurs?

In this area we have the following research projects/efforts:

 

Immigrant entrepreneurship: entrepreneurial strategies and societal structures

 

 
Foto: William Murphy