Immigrants' Entrepreneurial Opportunities: The Case of the Chinese in Portugal

29 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2003

See all articles by Catarina Reis de Oliveira

Catarina Reis de Oliveira

SociNova, Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas

Date Written: July 2003


Why do some foreign nationalities seem to have entrepreneurial initiatives and others don't? Why do certain foreign communities tend to build an ethnic economy, and others melt in the economy of the reception country? The analysis made so far of the modes of incorporation of the different Chinese immigrant communities in Portugal allowed to evidence that, unlike what some authors defend, it is not only the cultural factors that channel immigrants into certain segments of the labour market. Several structural factors associated to these immigrants' arrival should be considered: the immigration policy of the host society; the reasons that generated the migratory flow; the existence of a co-ethnic community in the country and its economic incorporation; the operation of social networks; the possibility to acquire capital among the community (informal resources); and the potential market of the host society. Furthermore, in Portugal, as in Southern Europe, the informal economy can be an opportunity to self-employment - not so easy in North European countries where institutional control is stronger and competition is higher.

Keywords: Immigrants, Entrepreneurship, Structural opportunities, Ethnic resources

Suggested Citation

Reis de Oliveira, Catarina, Immigrants' Entrepreneurial Opportunities: The Case of the Chinese in Portugal (July 2003). FEEM Working Paper No. 75.2003. Available at SSRN: or

Catarina Reis de Oliveira (Contact Author)

SociNova, Faculdade de Ciencias Sociais e Humanas ( email )

Avenida de Berna 26-C
Lisbon 1069-061
+351 21 7970928 (Phone)
+351 21 7970928 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information