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This paper presents an analysis of the use of ethnic social capital in the creation and the practice of business by Chinese immigrants from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia, living in Paris, Brussels, and Montreal. Following an interactive and multifactorial theory inspired by Waldinger, we approach ethnic social capital as one of the principle factors favoring business, and consider that a study on this topic should not ignore this aspect. We present some of the results from our qualitative study of sixty individuals engaged in these businesses. They did indeed testify to the impact of ethnic social capital at different stages of entrepreneurship, from the decision to open a business and the mobilization of resources in the business creation process, to its daily functioning, from the choice of employees to the formation of economic networks. This demonstrates the inevitability of this variable when studying entrepreneurship among ethnic minorities.


  • ethnic business
  • social capital
  • interactive model
  • chinese immigrants
  • ethnic networks
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