Polish immigrants in Leicester: Forms of capital underpinning entrepreneurial activity.
In this paper we report a study of 10 Polish immigrant entrepreneurs operating in Leicester, UK. Like Ram, Theodorakopoulos and Jones (2008) we take a forms-ofcapital approach but use Bourdieu’s (1983) social, cultural and economic capitals as the lens through which to explore their pathways to entrepreneurship. This allows us to look beyond studies that generally focus on social capital embodied in family and ethnic networks. By incorporating a mixed embeddedness approach (Kloostermans, Van Leun and Rath, 1999), we identify three groups – traditional, opportunity and opportunist entrepreneurs - based on when they immigrated and the implications of the differing origins and amounts of capital they can access and convert into entrepreneurial activity. The contribution of this paper is to go beyond explaining ethnic entrepreneurship in terms of social capital arising from ethnic group membership and to show the existence of intra-ethnic variation in the UK Polish entrepreneurial community.
Citation : Vershinina, N, Barrett, R. and Meyer, M. (2009) Polish immigrants in Leicester: Forms of capital underpinning entrepreneurial activity. Leicester Business School Occasional Paper Series, No 86.
ISBN : 9781857214017
Peer Reviewed : Yes