Entrepreneurship, ethnicity and local contexts: Hispanic entrepreneurs in three U.S. southern metropolitan areas

Qingfang Wang, Wei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Previous research suggests that entrepreneurship can provide ethnic minorities a springboard for economic advancement and social integration. However, self-employment rates vary significantly among ethnic groups, between men and women, and in different places. The prevailing literature suggests that personal characteristics, including human capital attributes, ethnic networking, institutional regulations, societal structures and discrimination, all contribute to the differential ethnic entrepreneurship rates. However, very few recent studies have analyzed how different urban socio-economic contexts influence this process. Using the 2000 Public Usable Microdata Samples (PUMS), this study examines how Hispanic entrepreneurs perform in three different metropolitan areas in the US South. The results show that the ethnic diversity, history of immigration, and the economic structure in each local area have provided different opportunities and challenges for Hispanics to start up and maintain their own businesses. This study suggests that the process of economic incorporation of ethnic minorities and immigrants depends significantly on the institutional capacity and social, cultural and political resources of local communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-182
Number of pages16
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • American South
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship
  • Hispanics/Latinos
  • Immigration
  • Urban contexts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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