Building the base for cross national comparisons of ethnic entrepreneurship: Understanding Polish entrepreneurs in Western Australia

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dc.contributor.author Vershinina, Natalia en
dc.contributor.author Barrett, Rowena en
dc.contributor.other Moguilnaia, Natalia A.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-10-04T14:11:48Z
dc.date.available 2012-10-04T14:11:48Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11-09
dc.identifier.citation Vershinina, N. and Barrett, R. ( 2011) Building the base for cross national comparisons of ethnic entrepreneurship: Understanding Polish entrepreneurs in Western Australia. Conference paper presented at 34th ISBE Conference, Sheffiled, UK, 9-10th November 2011 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2086/7486
dc.description.abstract The paper accounts for the nature of Polish entrepreneurial activity in Western Australia. First, it examines it through the deployment of Bourdieu’s ‘forms of capital’ model (1983) used in explaining the entrepreneurial activity of Polish immigrants. By adopting a case study approach informed by the principal of ‘maximum variation’, the paper highlights considerable diversity within a small but significant ethnic community in Western Australia. This paper is informed by literature dealing with forms of capital to explain ethnic entrepreneurship which points to the role of social, human, financial and cultural resources employed by migrants in their entrepreneurial activities. Case studies were undertaken with 12 firms during March 2011. In each of the businesses, detailed ethnographic interviews were conducted with business owners to establish their migration history, the motivations for self-employment, and journey to becoming a business owner. The interviews were transcribed and the data was analyzed using thematic content analysis. This paper extends the investigators UK-based work into Australia, as it examines Polish ethnic entrepreneurship in WA not only as a function of capitals, but how these forms are used and converted within certain institutional frameworks, opportunity structures and historical contexts. Around 10% of Polish born people in Australia reside in Western Australia while some 10% of those in Australia reporting Polish ancestry live in WA. All of the entrepreneurs interviewed spent over 20 years in WA; they partly assimilated, and this gave them time to develop their businesses. Their connection to the local Polish community had fuelled the development of these firms; however, with time passing the influence of their ethnic social and cultural capital was reduced. The paper has implications for researchers and policy-makers. For researchers, the limitations of extant theoretical approaches are exposed. Conversely, the value of the forms of capital approach applied to the field of ethnic minority entrepreneurship is highlighted. Further, a neglected ethnic community is brought within the gaze of the research community. For policy-makers, an insight is gained into areas where intervention could facilitate new immigrant entrepreneurship. The paper's main contributions are: an innovative deployment of models from complementary disciplines; an empirical focus on a new ethnic community. en
dc.description.sponsorship sponsored by International Science Linkages Program / Academy of Social Sciences in Australia en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher 34th ISBE Conference Sheffield en
dc.subject Polish entrepreneur en
dc.subject Forms of Capital en
dc.subject Western Australia en
dc.subject Bourdieu en
dc.title Building the base for cross national comparisons of ethnic entrepreneurship: Understanding Polish entrepreneurs in Western Australia en
dc.type Conference en
dc.researchgroup Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship en
dc.peerreviewed Yes en
dc.explorer.multimedia No en


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