Agnieszka Brzozowska, Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw, Poland
Beata Glinka, Faculty of Management, University of Warsaw, Poland
Sibylle Heilbrunn, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee, Israel


The long-standing phenomenon of entrepreneurial and self-employed activities carried out by migrants, and ethnic minorities has been the subject of extensive studies, mainly starting in the 1970s, linked to the general growth of the scale of migration both to Europe and the USA (see e.g. Light, 1972).

Research has traditionally focused on people who migrated from one country to another (first generation immigrants) starting a business in the domestic market of the country of destination, and has tried to understand the determinants of either the entrepreneurial choice or business success.

However, in the last decades, migration patterns have significantly changed. Firstly, due to globalization processes (i.e., increasing possibilities of communication and travelling), immigrants can maintain links with their country of origin or develop new links with their country of destination, or third countries. Secondly, contemporary migrations have become a global phenomenon, as they involve, albeit with different intensity and extent, the majority of countries (both developed and developing). This expansion is also accompanied by a diversification of migration flows, from the point of view of motive, economic and legal status, education, gender, and geographic origin. Thirdly, now, not only 1st generation immigrants constitute the population of the host country, but also their children. In addition, due to political conflicts, a new wave of refugees have become more and more visible, especially in European countries, creating new challenges to policy makers, social activists, as well as researchers. These changes have influenced entrepreneurial activities undertaken by immigrants, and refugees.

In response to the dynamic changes of immigrant entrepreneurship, new trends in research have evolved (Ram et al. 2017). Approaches that promote a more complex analysis of entrepreneurs’ action within a social, institutional and economic context became popular, such as the mixed embeddedness theory (Kloosterman et al.., 1999, Kloosterman, 2000). Also, the growing role of European research as contrasted with American tradition has been noted (Ram et al., 2017).

Researchers have been analyzing entrepreneurs, the way they construct their identities (Glinka & Brzozowska, 2015), and the way they discover opportunities (Zhou, 2004). Also the structure of opportunities (Waldinger, Aldrich & Ward, 1990; Kloosterman, 2000) existing and arising in a social, institutional and economic reality of the host country is being investigated. These opportunities are different depending on the environment. The cooperation of entrepreneurs within ethnic communities and diasporas, as well as how they build relations with local entrepreneurs, attracts growing attention (Aldrich & Waldinger 1990; Volery, 2007).

Another significant topic is migration networks among entrepreneurs (Light, Bhachu & Karageorgis, 1989) and transnational entrepreneurs as a form of economic adaptation by immigrants (Portes, Guarnizo & Haller, 2002). Other new terms discussed more often are: ‘Ascending Diaspora Entrepreneurship (ADE)’ and ‘Descending Diaspora Entrepreneurship (DDE)’ (Harima, 2014). The diversity of topics is reflected in the large number of publications in scientific journals.

For this special issue, we welcome original and innovative contributions on immigrant entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on the new research trends and challenges for the field. Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Methodological issues of immigrant entrepreneurship research.
  • Mixed embeddedness of immigrant entrepreneurial activities.
  • Entrepreneurship of different ethnic groups.
  • Transnational entrepreneurs and internationalization of immigrant businesses.
  • Second-generation immigrant entrepreneurship.
  • Female immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Entrepreneurial activities of refugees.
  • Identity construction processes of immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurship in developing countries.
  • High-tech immigrant entrepreneurship.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs' promotional and marketing activities.
  • Modes of cooperation and competition of immigrant entrepreneurs.
  • Factors influencing growth of immigrant businesses.
  • Differences between early-stage and late-stage immigrant businesses.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurship and integration.
  • The role of immigrant entrepreneurship in political, cultural and economic changes in their home and host countries.

Submission guidelines:

Submission deadline: 30th September, 2018
Papers reviewed: 31st November, 2018
Revised papers reviewed and accepted: 30th February, 2019
Final versions of accepted papers delivered: 30th April, 2019

Paper submission

Papers should be submitted before the end of 30th September 2018 by email with “Call for paper immigrant entrepreneurship” in the subject line to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and in cc This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. They will undergo a double-blind review and must be in sufficient detail for the referees to judge their meaning and value.

Submissions must be in English, should normally be no less than 8,000 words, and follow the submission requirements posted on the JEMI website at Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent to authors within less than two months.


  • Aldrich, H.E., & Waldinger, R. (1990). Ethnicity and entrepreneurship. Annual Review of Sociology, 16, 111–135.
  • Glinka, B., & Brzozowska, A. (2015). Immigrant entrepreneurs: In search of identity. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(4), 51-76.
  • Harima, A. (2014). Network dynamics of descending diaspora entrepreneurship: Multiple case studies with Japanese entrepreneurs in emerging economies. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 10(4), 65-92.
  • Kloosterman, R. (2010). Matching opportunities with resources: A framework for analysing (migrant) entrepreneurship from a mixed embeddedness perspective. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 22(1), 25-45. 
  • Kloosterman, R. (2000). Imigrant entrepreneurship and the institutional context: A theoretical exploration. In J. Rath (Ed.), Immigrant Business. The Economic, Politico-Institutional and Social Environment (pp. 135-160). Basingstoke: Macmillan.
  • Kloosterman, R., van der Leun, J. P., & Rath, J. (1999). Mixed embeddedness, migrant entrepreneurship and informal economic activities. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 23(2), 253-267.
  • Light, I. (1972). Ethnic enterprise in America. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.
  • Light, I., Bhachu, P., & Karageorgis, S. (1989). Migration networks and immigrant entrepreneurship. Paper 51, Institute for Social Science Research, UCLA, CA.
  • Portes, A., Guarnizo, L., & Haller, W. (2002). Transnational entrepreneurs: An alternative form of immigrant economic adaptation. American Sociological Review, 67(2), 278-298.
  • Ram, M., Jones, T., & Villares-Varela, M. (2017). Migrant entrepreneurship: Reflections on research and practice. International Small Business Journal, 35(1), 3-18.
  • Volery, T. (2007). Ethnic entrepreneurship: a theoretical framework. In L.-P. Dana (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship. A Co-evolutionary View on Resource Management (pp. 30-41). Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA USA: Edward Elgar.
  • Waldinger, R., Aldrich, H., & Ward, R. (1990). Opportunities, group characteristics and strategies. In R. Waldinger, H. Aldrich & R. Ward (Eds.), Ethnic Entrepreneurs: Immigrant Business in Industrial Societies (pp. 13-48). London: Sage.
  • Zhou, M. (2004). Revisiting ethnic entrepreneurship: Convergencies, controversies, and conceptual advancements. International Migration Review, 38(3), 1040-1074.