Asian female immigrant entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized businesses in Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 2010, 22 (1), pp. 97 - 111
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Among western nations Australia has received, in relative terms, one of the largest and most diverse intakes of immigrants, many of who start up their own small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). While most immigrant entrepreneurs are male, there is growth in the number of female immigrants who have moved into entrepreneurship in Australia and other countries. Yet, research into female immigrant entrepreneurship and a theoretical investigation as to how the impact of ethnic diversity and gender on entrepreneurship can be conceptualized is not well developed in the literature. This article attempts to redress this gap. It reviews the theory of immigrant entrepreneurship and the Australian research, including the findings of unpublished fieldwork with 80 Asian female immigrant entrepreneurs in Sydney. While female immigrant entrepreneurs draw on their human capital and community and family networks as do all female small business owners, their small business experience is also shaped by broader societal responses to minority immigrants, embodied in the concept of the 'accent ceiling', that creates labour market and entrepreneurial barriers for women of minority linguistic, ethnic or religious background that non-immigrant entrepreneurs do not face. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
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