A three essay dissertation on: Immigrant entrepreneurs

Carole Louise Cangioni, University of Texas at El Paso


The association between entrepreneurial activity and economic growth appears to be robust: the source of half of job creation emanates from new ventures which, in addition, are a source of technical and market innovation as well as higher labor productivity (Gartner, Shaver, Carter, & Reynolds, 2004). Also, there is a growing percentage of ethnic entrepreneurship in immigrant receiving metropolitan areas, and marginal economic conditions, often experienced by immigrants, increase self-employment. According to the U.S. Census Bureau: "By 2010, Hispanics will be the largest minority group in the U.S with more than 20% of the nation's population" and "minorities, now roughly 1/3 of the population, are expected to be a majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be a 54% minority in 2050.", hence the combined importance of researching antecedents and outcomes of immigrant entrepreneurship. At the Kauffman Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data, the following topics have been identified as underutilized in the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED): (1) factors affecting outcome status, and (2) new firm creation versus disengagement. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore such outcomes by identifying similarities and differences among new venture creation from entrepreneurs of various origins operating in the U.S. More precisely, we develop three different research questions in three related essays: (1) What may influence immigrants' decision to get involved in a start-up? (2) Is it possible to predict new venture terminations from the origin of the entrepreneur(s)? (3) Do strategies employed in new ventures differ across entrepreneurs' origins? First, the theoretical paper designs a framework of analysis of immigrant entrepreneurs and presents a new construct with a potential for a new stream of research. Second, the underlying theory used for the two empirical papers is upper echelon theory, as we propose to analyze the entrepreneurial founding team (EFT) involved in the start-up as we would of a top management team (TMT).

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Cangioni, Carole Louise, "A three essay dissertation on: Immigrant entrepreneurs" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3469324.