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Arab American entrepreneurs in San Antonio, Texas: motivation for entry into self‐employment

Arab American entrepreneurs in San Antonio, Texas: motivation for entry into self‐employment Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of some Arab American entrepreneurs and their motivation to enter self‐employment, in spite of the obvious obstacles and adversity immigrants can face in pursuing their dreams in this new society. The self‐recounted life histories of this group of entrepreneurs add to the existing literature and contribute to the body of knowledge of immigrants and entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative research, which concentrates on natural settings with their intriguing complexity of social interactions rather than laboratories was selected. Qualitative research covers several forms of inquiry that help one understand and explain the meaning of social phenomena with as little destruction to the natural setting as possible. Findings – The questions regarding motivation for self‐employment were open ended, giving the participants the chance to list as many issues as deemed necessary and relevant in their decision to start their business. All of the participants were in total agreement that mentioned push factors are the reasons that they entered self‐employment. These factors included difficulties in finding a job, thus feeling at a disadvantage in the US job market. Difficulty in previous job also was mentioned as a push factor; the lack of English skills was not, however, mentioned as a motivator for self‐employment. Research limitations/implications – There were geographical and logistical constraints affecting the research and given time and resources the author would like to have conducted research that included a number of geographical areas in the Southwest USA and Northern Mexico. Practical implications – This research will have practical implications on two areas: first, immigration and its historical context, especially Arab immigration to the new world, why are these immigrants left their countries in the first place, and the problem they faced in terms of their degree of assimilation and its effect on their success in their new homes. Second, entrepreneurs, why immigrants find it easier to get into the sphere of entrepreneurship rather than holding regular careers and trying to assimilate in their new societies. Originality/value – This paper will contribute to the body of literature on Arab American entrepreneurs in particular and immigrant entrepreneurs in general, and is important to education and educators as well. The paper investigates the motivations for entry into the field of entrepreneurship and becoming an entrepreneur, offering data that could be useful for developing ideas and suggestions as well as an understanding of some of the important steps necessary for the success of new immigrant entrepreneurs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues Emerald Publishing

Arab American entrepreneurs in San Antonio, Texas: motivation for entry into self‐employment

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-7983
DOI
10.1108/17537981111111256
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the experiences of some Arab American entrepreneurs and their motivation to enter self‐employment, in spite of the obvious obstacles and adversity immigrants can face in pursuing their dreams in this new society. The self‐recounted life histories of this group of entrepreneurs add to the existing literature and contribute to the body of knowledge of immigrants and entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative research, which concentrates on natural settings with their intriguing complexity of social interactions rather than laboratories was selected. Qualitative research covers several forms of inquiry that help one understand and explain the meaning of social phenomena with as little destruction to the natural setting as possible. Findings – The questions regarding motivation for self‐employment were open ended, giving the participants the chance to list as many issues as deemed necessary and relevant in their decision to start their business. All of the participants were in total agreement that mentioned push factors are the reasons that they entered self‐employment. These factors included difficulties in finding a job, thus feeling at a disadvantage in the US job market. Difficulty in previous job also was mentioned as a push factor; the lack of English skills was not, however, mentioned as a motivator for self‐employment. Research limitations/implications – There were geographical and logistical constraints affecting the research and given time and resources the author would like to have conducted research that included a number of geographical areas in the Southwest USA and Northern Mexico. Practical implications – This research will have practical implications on two areas: first, immigration and its historical context, especially Arab immigration to the new world, why are these immigrants left their countries in the first place, and the problem they faced in terms of their degree of assimilation and its effect on their success in their new homes. Second, entrepreneurs, why immigrants find it easier to get into the sphere of entrepreneurship rather than holding regular careers and trying to assimilate in their new societies. Originality/value – This paper will contribute to the body of literature on Arab American entrepreneurs in particular and immigrant entrepreneurs in general, and is important to education and educators as well. The paper investigates the motivations for entry into the field of entrepreneurship and becoming an entrepreneur, offering data that could be useful for developing ideas and suggestions as well as an understanding of some of the important steps necessary for the success of new immigrant entrepreneurs.

Journal

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern IssuesEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 1, 2011

Keywords: Immigrants; Entrepreneurs; Middle East; United States of America

References