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Polish entrepreneurs in Glasgow and entrepreneurial opportunity structure

Lassalle, Paul and McElwee, Gerard (2016) Polish entrepreneurs in Glasgow and entrepreneurial opportunity structure. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 22 (2). pp. 260-281. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a modelized representation of the concept of opportunity structures for ethnic minority entrepreneurs in Glasgow, Scotland, that incorporates the different demand and supply side dimensions influencing entrepreneurial activity. Design/methodology/approach – An appropriate qualitative research design was implemented in order to capture and understand the influence of contextual dimensions on entrepreneurial behaviour of Polish EMEs in Glasgow. As part of the abductive and reflective process of the research, 21 semi-structured interviews were carried out in with Polish EMEs who are sole-owners of businesses. Findings – By contextualising ethnic minority entrepreneurship, the paper reveals the crucial and ambivalent role played by the community (for resource mobilisation and as the primary market) and by Polish EMEs’ perception of the opportunity structure, on their entrepreneurial behaviour. Moreover, it highlights the importance of the household as a contextual dimension on entrepreneurial decision making among those Polish entrepreneurs in Glasgow. Practical implications – Provides a comprehensive and operational model of opportunity structure for EMEs which can be used an operational tool for both scholars in the field as well as by policy makers. The proposed model constitutes a framework for analysing the influence of different contextual dimensions on EMEs’ entrepreneurial behaviour. Originality/value – The contribution is the provision of an original tool to enable further systematic comparative approaches while conducting research on EMEs across different communities and localities.