Systematic Literature Review on Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship: Citation and Thematic Analysis

Mohamed Sithas, HAKNS Surangi


This paper presents a systematic review of the literature on ethnic minority entrepreneurship. A total of 174 articles converging on ethnic minority entrepreneurship, published between 2010 and 2020, were investigated. This paper extends existing knowledge of the sub-areas in ethnic minority entrepreneurship research by focusing on two different angles. Firstly, Citation analysis was performed to review research papers to recognize and classify the key areas of ethnic minority entrepreneurship currently being focused on and examined by the research community. Secondly, Thematic analysis was executed to discover the specific themes that are being researched. The study found seven different themes: immigrant studies, ethnic entrepreneurial motivations, ethnic startup process, motives of ethnic business success, failure factors of ethnic businesses, ethnic unique challenges, and favourite strong ties of ethnic minorities were identified as main themes. The number of research gaps identified should encourage novel paths and scopes in the ethnic minority entrepreneurship research field to fill these gaps in the literature.


ethnic minority entrepreneurship, systematic literature review, citation analysis, thematic analysis

Full Text:



Addo, P. A. (2017). ‘Is it entrepreneurship, or is it survival?’: Gender, community, and innovation in Boston’s Black immigrant micro-enterprise spaces. Societies, 7(3), 20.

Altinay, L., & Wang, C. L. (2011). The influence of an entrepreneur's socio‐cultural characteristics on the entrepreneurial orientation of small firms. Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 18(4), 673-694.

Asante, K. T. (2018). Strategic coethnicity: Social capital and entrepreneurial strategies of two Ghanaian migrant businesses. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People & Places in the Global Economy, 12(4), 418-436.

Aygün, T., & Oeser, G. (2017). Challenges and opportunities of Turkish food retail in Germany from a value chain perspective. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 45(3), 308-327.

Bakhru, K. M., Behera, M., & Sharma, A. (2018). Entrepreneurial communities and family enterprises of India: An overview of their emergence and sustained growth. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People & Places in the Global Economy, 12(1) 32-49.

Barrett, G. A., & McEvoy, D. (2013). An emerging African business quarter amid urban decline. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People & Places in the Global Economy, 7(3), 274-292.

Barrett, G., Jones, T., McEvoy, D., & McGoldrick, C. (2002). The economic embeddedness of immigrant enterprise in Britain. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 8(1/2), 11-31.

Basu, A., & Virick, M. (2015). Silicon Valley’s Indian diaspora: Networking and entrepreneurial success. South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, 4(2), 190-208.

Bates T., Jackson, W. E., & Johnson, J. H. (2007). Introduction: Advancing research on minority entrepreneurship. Annals of the American Academy of Political & Social Science, 613(1), 10–17.

Bates, T. (2012). Minority entrepreneurship. Foundations & Trends in Entrepreneurship, 7, (3-4).

Bates, T., Bradford, W. D., & Seamans, R. (2018). Minority entrepreneurship in twenty-first century America. Small Business Economics, 50, 415–427.

Ben, F. (2010). Theories of social capital: Researchers behaving badly (Political economy and development). Pluto Press.

Bishop, D. (2011). The importance of being an insider: How networks influence the small firm's engagement with formal training. Journal of European Industrial Training, 35(4), 326-344.

Bizri, R. M. (2017). Refugee-entrepreneurship: A social capital perspective. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 29(9–10), 847–868.

Bouk, F. el., Vedder, P., & Poel, Y. te. (2013). The networking behaviour of Moroccan and Turkish immigrant entrepreneurs in two Dutch neighbourhoods: The role of ethnic density. Ethnicities, 13(6), 771–794.

Bruder, J., Neuberger, D., & Räthke‐Döppner, S. (2011). Financial constraints of ethnic entrepreneurship: Evidence from Germany. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 17(3), 296-313.

Bruin, A. D., Brush, C. G., & Welter, F. (2007). Advancing a framework for coherent research on women‘s entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 31(3), 323-339.

Chen, W., Tajeddini, K., Ratten, V., & Tabari, S. (2019). Educational immigrants: Evidence from Chinese young entrepreneurs in the UK. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People & Places in the Global Economy, 13(1/2), 196-215.

Chu, H. M., Kara, O., Zhu, X., & Gok, K. (2011) Chinese entrepreneurs: Motivations, success factors, problems, and business‐related stress. Journal of Chinese Entrepreneurship, 3(2), 84-111.

Clark, K., & Drinkwater, S. (2000). Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales. Labour Economics, 7(5), 603–628.

Collins, L. A., & Fakoussa, R. (2015). Ethnic minority entrepreneurship: An examination of Pakistani entrepreneurs in the UK. Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 4(2).

Consterdine, E., & Hampshire, J. (2019). Convergence, capitalist diversity, or political volatility? Immigration policy in Western Europe. Journal of European Public Policy, 27(10), 1487–1505.

Dana, L. P. (Ed.). (2007). Handbook of research on ethnic minority entrepreneurship: A co-evolutionary view on resource management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dana, L. P., Gurau, C., Light, I., & Muhammad, N. (2020). Family, community, and ethnic capital as entrepreneurial resources: Toward an integrated model. Journal of Small Business Management, 58(5), 1003–1029.

Dheer, R. J. S. (2018). Entrepreneurship by immigrants: A review of existing literature and directions for future research. International Entrepreneurship & Management Journal, 14(3), 555–614.

Erel, U. (2010). Migrating cultural capital: Bourdieu in migration studies. Sociology, 44(4) 642-660.

Flap, H., Kumcu A., & Bulder, B. (2000) Social capital and business success. In J. Rath (Ed.), Immigrant businesses: The economic, political and social environment (pp. 142-161). Macmillan Press.

Fregetto, E. (2004). Immigrant and ethnic entrepreneurship: A US perspective. In H. P. Welsch (Ed.), Entrepreneurship: The way ahead (pp. 253-268). Routledge.

Heelsum, A. (2010). Ethnic entrepreneurship case study: Athens, Greece. Cities for Local Integration Policy Network, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living & Working Conditions. field_ef_document/ef1121en11.pdf

Howell, A. (2018). Ethnic entrepreneurship, initial financing, and business performance in China. Small Business Economics, 52(3), 697–712.

Iyer, L., Khanna, T., & Varshney, A. (2013). Caste and entrepreneurship in India. Economic & Political Weekly, 48(6), 52-60.

Jones, T., Ram, M., Edwards, P., Kiselinchev, A., & Muchenje, L. (2012). New migrant enterprise: Novelty or historical continuity? Urban Studies, 49(14), 3159-3176.

Kazlou, A., & Klinthall, M. (2019). Entrepreneurial response to changing opportunity structures: Self-selection and incomes among new immigrant entrepreneurs in Sweden. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 25(5), 859-879.

Kerr, S. P., Kerr, W. R., & Xu, T. (2018). Personality traits of entrepreneurs: A review of recent literature. Foundations & Trends® in Entrepreneurship, 14(3), 279–356.

Kwon, S., Heflin, C., & Ruef, M. (2013). Community social capital and entrepreneurship. American Sociological Review, 78(6), 980-1008. 0003122413506440

Lam, W., Harris, P., & Yang, S. (2019). Understanding U.K. ethnic minority entrepreneurship from an enterprise culture perspective. Journal of Public Affairs, 19(2).

Larson, J. M., & Lewis, J. I. (2016). Ethnic networks. American Journal of Political Science, 61(2), 350–364.

Laurence, J. (2011). The effect of ethnic diversity and community disadvantage on social cohesion: A multi-level analysis of social capital and interethnic relations in UK communities. European Sociological Review, 27(1), 70-89.

Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Learning in doing: Social, cognitive, and computational perspectives. Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge University Press.

Lüdeke‐Freund, F. (2019). Sustainable entrepreneurship, innovation, and business models: Integrative framework and propositions for future research. Business Strategy & the Environment, 29(2), 665–681.

Maleki, A. H., Cullen, J. B., & Sahaym, A. (2018). Social trust, Trust in governments and entrepreneurial intentions: A cross-national analysis. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2018(1), 10899.

Manzoor, F., Wei, L., Nurunnabi, M., & Abdul Subhan, Q. (2019). Role of SME in poverty alleviation in SAARC region via panel data analysis. Sustainability, 11(22), 6480.

Masurel, E., Nijkamp, P., & Vindigni, G. (2004). Breeding places for ethnic entrepreneurs: A comparative marketing approach. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 16(1), 77–86.

McPherson, M. (2010). Business practices within South Asian family and non‐family firms: A comparative study. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 16(5), 389-413.

Mendy, J., & Hack-Polay, D. (2018). Learning from failure. Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 25(2), 330–343.

Moghaddam, K. (2015). The ingredients of a success recipe: An exploratory study of diaspora opportunity entrepreneurship. South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, 4(2), 162-189.

Nwankwo, S., & Gbadamosi, A. (2013). Faith and entrepreneurship among the British African‐Caribbean: Intersections between religious and entrepreneurial values. Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 20(3), 618-633.

OECD. (2017). Enhancing the contributions of SMEs in a global and digitalized economy. Meeting of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, 1, 7–8.

Osewa‐Ediae, C. (2011). Assessing the sustainability of London based Black African SMEs. World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management & Sustainable Development, 7(1), 59-80.

Ostrovsky, Y., Picot, G., & Leung, D. (2018). The financing of immigrant-owned firms in Canada. Small Business Economics, 52(1), 303–317.

Parboteeah, K. P., Walter, S. G., & Block, J. H. (2015). When does Christian religion matter for entrepreneurial activity? The contingent effect of a country’s investments into knowledge. Journal of Business Ethics, 130, 447–465.

Piperopoulos, P. (2010). Ethnic minority businesses and immigrant entrepreneurship in Greece. Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 17(1), 139-158. 10.1108/14626001011019170

Ram, M., Edwards, P., Meardi, G., Jones, T., Doldor, S., Kispeter, E., & Villares-Varela, M. (2017). Non-compliance and the national living wage: Case study evidence from ethnic minority and migrant-owned businesses. Low Pay Commission. Retrieved April 6, 2021, from attachment_data/file/660578/RamEdwardsMeardiJonesDoldorKispeterVillares-Varela_FINAL_2017_Report.pdf

Ram, M., Woldesenbet, K., & Jones, T. (2011). Raising the ‘table stakes’? Ethnic minority businesses and supply chain relationships. Environment and Planning C: Government & Policy, 25(2), 309-326.

Rath, J., & Swagerman, A. (2016). Promoting ethnic entrepreneurship in European cities: Sometimes ambitious, mostly absent, rarely addressing structural features. International Migration Review, 54(1), 152–166.

Rogerson, C. M. (2013). Improving market access opportunities for urban small, medium and micro-enterprises in South Africa. Urbani Izziv, 24(2), 133-143. 10.5379/ Urbani-izziv-en-2013-24-02-005

Roth, W. D., Seidel, M. ‐D. L., Ma, D., & Lo, E. (2012). In and out of the ethnic economy: A longitudinal analysis of ethnic networks and pathways to economic success across Immigrant Categories1. International Migration Review, 46(2), 310-361.

Samaratunge, R., Barrett, R., & Rajapakse, T. (2015). Sri Lankan entrepreneurs in Australia: Chance or choice? Journal of Small Business & Enterprise Development, 22(4), 782-796.

Santarelli, E., & Tran, H. (2013). The interplay of human and social capital in shaping entrepreneurial performance: The case of Vietnam. Small Business Economics, 40(2), 435-458.

Sarasvathy, S. (2001). Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency. The Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243-263.

Selvarajah, C., & Masli, E. K. (2011). Ethnic entrepreneurial business cluster development: Chinatowns in Melbourne. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 5(1), 42-60.

Sepulveda, L., Syrett, S., & Lyon, F. (2011). Population super-diversity and new migrant enterprise: The case of London. Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 23(7-8), 469–497.

Shin, K. -H. (2014). Korean entrepreneurs in Kansas City metropolitan area: An immigrant community under ethnic local and global intersection. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People & Places in the Global Economy, 8(4), 287-299. https://doi. org/10.1108/JEC-11-2013-0034

Sithas, M. T. M., & Dissanayake, D. M. R. (2019). Social network and ethnic minority entrepreneurship: A theoretical review and practices. Archives of Business Research, 7(6), 1-8

Smith, O. M., Tang, R. Y. W., &San Miguel, P. (2012). Arab American entrepreneurship in Detroit, Michigan. American Journal of Business, 27(1), 58-79. 10.1108/19355181211217643

Thomsen, L. (2011). Business-state relations in the differentiated private sector in Vietnam: Access to capital and land. Asian Journal of Social Science, 39(5), 627-651.

Ullah, F., Rahman, M. Z., Smith, R., &Beloucif, A. (2016). What influences ethnic entrepreneurs’ decision to startup: Some evidence from Aberdeen, Scotland. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 23(4), 1081-1103.

Verkuyten, M. (2018). The social psychology of ethnic identity (European Monographs in Social Psychology (2nd ed.). Routledge.

Vespa, J., Medina, L., & Armstrong, D. (2020). Demographic turning points for the United States: Population projections for 2020 to 2060. Current Population Reports, P25-1144, 1–15.

Villanueva, C. E., Angeles, A., & Revilla, L. C. (2018). Tying strong ties in informal entrepreneurship: A constraint or an entrepreneurial driver? Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 23(01), 1850002.

Waldinger, R. D., Aldrich, H., & Ward, R. (Eds.). (1990). Ethnic entrepreneurs. Immigrant businesses in industrial societies. SAGE Publishing.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press.

Wilson, K., & Portes, A. (1980). Immigrant enclaves: An analysis of the labor market experiences of Cubans in Miami. American Journal of Sociology, 86(2), 295-319. Retrieved June 6, 2021, from

Wong, L., & Primecz, H. (2011). Chinese migrant entrepreneurs in Budapest: Changing entrepreneurial effects and forms. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 5(1), 61-76.

World Bank. (2019). Drivers of socio-economic development among ethnic minority groups in Vietnam. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved April 6, 2021, from

Xheneti, M. (2021). Policies for promoting entrepreneurship as a means of increasing social inclusion. The Palgrave Handbook of Minority Entrepreneurship, 485–502.

Yazdanfar, D., Abbasian, S., & Brouder, P. (2015). Business advice strategies of immigrant entrepreneurs in Sweden. Baltic Journal of Management, 10(1) 98-118.

Zelekha, Y., Avnimelech, G., & Sharabi, E. (2014). Religious institutions and entrepreneurship. Small Business Economics, 42(4), 747-767. Retrieved March 13, 2021, from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies  E-ISSN: 2149-1291

Copyright © Center for Ethnic and Cultural Studies (CECS) Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank  EBSCO HostCrossRef DOI – EScience Press News & Views: Analyzing the DOAJ - Delta ThinkICI Journals Master Listerihplus hashtag on TwitterProQuest (@ProQuest) | Twitter