Journal of Social Sciences

Breaking out: The Dynamics of Immigrant Owned Businesses

Shahamak Rezaei

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2007.94.105

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 3, Issue 2

Pages 94-105


As far as integration policy in a Danish context is concerned a phenomenon have been observed during the last decade: Immigrant businesses are spreading rapidly in the country, dominating certain business lines in deprived inner city areas. According to registry and survey data, most immigrant businesses - and particularly those owned by immigrants from less developed countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa - are tiny self-employment units in which profits are low and working hours long for the owners. They occupy mainly traditional small firm dominated business lines, which the majority population tend to abandon anyway. Only seldom do they grow into larger firms and shift to more advanced and profitable business fields. This pattern, however, seems to be slowly changing in that some well-educated first and second generation immigrant groups (among them particularly women) have the potential to start and run more advanced and profitable businesses outside the traditional ethnic business lines and outside minority dominated inner city areas. Key determinants in this process seem to be owner qualifications, network patterns, financial resources and cross border business relations.


© 2007 Shahamak Rezaei. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.