Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


Many advanced economies, especially their larger cities, acquired a more cosmopolitan outlook in the closing decades of the twentieth century. This is reflected in an ever-broadening product range, which now not only includes such obvious items as Coca Cola, hamburgers and Levi's but also Thai food, North African musical instruments and Indian saris. It is also reflected in the increasing number of immigrant entrepreneurs who start businesses in their countries of settlement. The Working on the Fringes network was aimed at exploring these immigrant entrepreneurs in advanced economies.
This endeavor required not only looking at the immigrant entrepreneurs themselves, but also taking the wider socio-economic and institutional context into account. This so-called mixed embeddedness approach has guided the contributions of the members of the network. The members have examined trends in immigrant entrepreneurship and addressed the migration history (i.e. supply side), the opportunity structure (the demand side), and the impact of government policies and regulation on the demand and supply of the entrepreneurial market.
All the countries examined has growing numbers of immigrants from an increasing number of more and more distant countries. Immigration has significantly changed the demographic make-up and the profile entrepreneurs in many larger cities. The dominant pattern that emerges shows immigrant entrepreneurs are concentrated in lower-end retailing, wholesaling and restaurants and catering. These openings are closely linked to the vacancy chains where the most recent immigrant entrepreneurs replace earlier ones at the lower end of market, the rise of ethnic markets or markets of immigrants sharing the same kind of background, and offer immigrant entrepreneurs captive markets.

Download application/pdf (142797)

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top