Russian-Speaking Immigrant Motivation to Become an Entrepreneur in the US

28 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018

See all articles by Irina Kogan

Irina Kogan

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Jennoa Graham

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Yves Belmont

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Danny Bellenger

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Date Written: August 17, 2018

Abstract

Purpose – According to literature, immigrant entrepreneurs in the US are more likely to start and maintain a business than native-born entrepreneurs. However, there is limited research pertaining to first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs in the US. This paper contributes to the literature pertaining to desire for independence, need for achievement, risk tolerance, other factors that inspire immigrants to start entrepreneurial careers, and related actions that promote business success for Russian-speaking first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs. Design/methodology/approach – This explanatory study examined the influence of desire for independence, need for achievement, risk tolerance, and other factors to determine inspiration to entrepreneurial careers and actions promoting business success with 11 Russian-speaking first-generation immigrants who moved to the US at age 18 years or older and who own US-based companies with three to 20 staff and annual sales of $50,000–$20,000,000. As a qualitative study it is not intended to provide statistically significant information. Findings – Results indicated that there are 12 subfactors within desire for independence, need for achievement, risk tolerance, and other factors that influenced the inspiration of first-generation Russian-speaking entrepreneurs to start a US-based business in the US alcoholic beverages industry. These factors led to nine actions that promote business success. Research limitations/implications – Because the sample consisted entirely of Russian-speaking entrepreneurs who were active distributors of alcoholic beverages within the import/export industry, findings may not be generalizable to non-import/export industries or nonalcoholic beverage product lines. The exclusion of businesses that have ceased operations eliminated insights gained from associated lessons learned preceding closure. The chain of causal evidence for this multiple-case design was consistent with historical admonitions. A longitudinal design may provide more comprehensive insights for causal relationships between constructs. Future research that includes a comparison analysis of other import/export product lines and other non-English-speaking first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs could add value to this study. Practical implications – Because of this research, knowledge about the success of Russian-speaking immigrant entrepreneurs is available, new immigrant entrepreneurs will have references for success, and a meaningful contribution is made to the existing body of knowledge on immigrant entrepreneurship. Originality/value – Plenty of research addresses the amount of money generated by immigrant entrepreneurship (New American Economy, 2016), the increase in the number of immigrants starting businesses since 2000 (Fairlie, 2012), and the impact of immigrant businesses on the US economy (Balasubramanian et al., 2007). There is also a strong literary presence regarding the survival and growth of immigrant businesses, both economically (Kerr and Kerr, 2016) and socially (Wang, 2010). This research contributes to literature pertaining to risk tolerance, desire for independence, need for achievement, and other factors that inspire immigrants to entrepreneurial careers and related actions that promote business success in a comparatively untapped culture: Russian-speaking first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Immigrants, Entrepreneurship, Russian-Speaking Entrepreneur, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurial Intention

Suggested Citation

Kogan, Irina and Graham, Jennoa and Belmont, Yves and Bellenger, Danny, Russian-Speaking Immigrant Motivation to Become an Entrepreneur in the US (August 17, 2018). 2018 Engaged Management Scholarship Conference: Philadelphia, PA. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3233673 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3233673

Irina Kogan

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Jennoa Graham (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Yves Belmont

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

Danny Bellenger

Georgia State University - J. Mack Robinson College of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 4050
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States

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