Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

How to attract migrant entrepreneurs to peripheral regions? Evidence from Poland


Objective: The article aims to identify market entrance barriers faced by migrant entrepreneurs and reasons for the attractiveness of specific places when starting a business in so-called peripheral regions.

Research Design & Methods: This article presents the results of a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews, for which 21 migrant entrepreneurs were interviewed in 2019 and 2020 in Opolskie Voivodeship.

Findings: The findings suggest the respondents selected the Opolskie Voivodeship for business activities on the bases of socio-spatial embeddedness. Neither the entrepreneurial ecosystem nor the promising economic situation were identified as meaningful for starting or growing businesses.

Implications & Recommendations: Drawing on the findings, the authors developed practical implications for policymakers. Attention should be given to tools attracting migrants to peripheral regions. Established migrant entrepreneurs in peripheral regions could be integrated into a regional attraction concept and make the local ecosystem more inclusive for this group of entrepreneurs. They may be turned into practice by giving them the right to member and participate in official networks of the economic development agency or the chamber of commerce. In general, the openness of migrants to reach out to support infrastructures for business creation should be actively addressed.

Contribution & Value Added: The research fills the research gaps relating to the spatial dimension and the regional context of the presence of migrant entrepreneurs in the peripheral areas of Poland.


Entrepreneurship, migrant entrepreneurship, migration, migration management, peripheral regions

(PDF) Save

Author Biography

Sabina Kubiciel-Lodzińska

PhD in economics (2010, Wrocław University of Economics and Business). Assistant professor at the Opole University of Technology (Poland). Her research interests include economic migrations, migrant entrepreneurship and the inclusion of refugees in the labour market.

Jolanta Maj

PhD in political science (2014, Willy Brandt Center for German and European Studies University of Wrocław). Assistant professor at the Wrocław University of Science and Technology (Poland). Her research interests include diversity management and inclusion and their impact on business innovation and efficiency.

Alexandra David

PhD in management and social science (2015, University of Twente, Netherlands). Senior researcher at the Institute for Work and Technology of the Westphalian University in Germany. Her research interests focus on minority entrepreneurship and migrant entrepreneurship including migrants’ influence on innovation and regional development.


  1. Andrejuk, K. (2017). Przedsiębiorcy ukraińscy w Polsce. Struktura i sprawstwo w procesie osiedlenia [Ukrainian entrepreneurs in Poland. Structure and perpetration in the settlement process.]. Warszawa: IFiS PAN.
  2. Andrejuk, K. (2022). Pandemic transformations in migrant spaces: Migrant entrepreneurship between super-digitalization and the new precarity. Population Space and Place, 28(6), 11.
  3. Bathelt, H., & Gluckler, J. (2003). Toward relational economic geography. Journal of Economic Geography, 3(2), 117-144.
  4. Brzozowska, A., & Postuła, A. (2014). The cultural determinants of entrepreneurship. An example of the Vietnamese immigrants running their own business in Poland. Problemy Zarządzania, 12.
  5. Brzozowski J. (2019). Przedsiębiorczość imigrantów w Krakowie: stan obecny i perspektywy rozwoju [Immigrant entrepreneurship in Kraków: current state and perspectives for development], Kraków.
  6. Brzozowski, J., & Cucculelli, M. (2020). Transnational ties and performance of immigrant firms: evidence from Central Italy. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 26(8), 1787-1806.
  7. Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis: Sage.
  8. Creswell, J.W., & Miller, D.L. (2000). Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory Into Practice, 39(3), 124-130.
  9. CSO (2022). Wstępne szacunki produktu krajowego brutto w przekroju regionów w 2021 [Preliminary estimates of gross domestic product by region in 2021], Retrieved from,8,5.html on October 20, 2022.
  10. Curci, R., & Mackoy, R. (2010). Immigrant business enterprises: A classification framework conceptualization and test. Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2), 107-121.
  11. David, A. (2015). Scientia est potentia: human capital and the role of networks; migration, inclusion and new qualification for a sustainable regional economy (Dissertation). University of Twente.
  12. David, A., & Schäfer, S. (2022). Spatial perspectives on migrant entrepreneurship. ZFW – Advances in Economic Geography.
  13. David, A., Dienes, C., Garcia Schmidt, A., Kay, R., Rosenberger, T., Sajons, C., Sänger, R., Schäfer, S., & Terstriep, J. (2022a). Unternehmerisches Handeln und staatliche Unterstützungsmaßnahmen in der COVID-19-Pandemie. [Entrepreneurship and government support measures in the COVID 19 pandemic]. ReCOVery Policy Brief, März 2022. Bertelsmann Stiftung.
  14. David, A., & Coenen, F. (2017). Immigrant entrepreneurship - a chance for labour market integration of refugees? In I.Hamburg, & A.David (Eds.), Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills in Europe: examples to improve potential entrepreneurial spirit, (pp. 77-101). Opladen: Barbara Budrich.
  15. David, A., Terstriep, J., Atibioke, O., Siegel, J., & Giustolisi, A. (2020). Ich will andere Geschichten erzählen: Mi-grantische Unternehmen in der Praxis. Forschungsschwerpunkt Innovation [I want to tell other stories: Migrant enterprises in practice. Research focus on innovation], Raum & Kultur des Instituts Ar-beit und Technik der Migrantisches Unternehmer:innentum in Deutschland | Seite 33 Westfälische Hochschule Bocholt, Recklinghausen, Gelsenkirchen (eds), Kurzgeschichten zur Expertise Migrantische ökonomie für die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration.
  16. David, A., Terstriep, J., Stoewe, K., Ruthemeier, A., Elo, M., & Schmidt, A.G. (2022b). Migrantisches Unternehmer:innentum in Deutschland. Vorschlag einer Differenzierung [Migrant Entrepreneurship in Germany. Proposal for a differentiation]. Diskussionspapier der Bertelsmann Stiftung. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung.
  17. Drori, I., Honig, B., & Wright, M. (2009). Transnational entrepreneurship: an emergent field of study. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(5), 1001-1022.
  18. Edwards, P., Ram, M., Jones, T., & Doldor, S. (2016). New migrant businesses and their workers: developing, but not transforming, the ethnic economy, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 3(9), 1587-1617, 10.1080/01419870.2015.1116702
  19. Elo, M., Sandberg, S., Servais, P., Discua Cruz, A., & Basco, R. (2019). Entrepreneurship, Migration, and Family in Peripheral Contexts – Avenues for Growth and Internationalisation. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 36(1/2).
  20. Elo, M., Zubair, M., & Zhang, X. (2022). Disadvantaged Migrant Entrepreneurs and Their Selection of Location: Entrepreneurial Settlement and Making a “Home” Abroad. In: Dana, LP., Khachlouf, N., Maâlaoui, A., Ratten, V. (eds) Disadvantaged Minorities in Business. Contributions to Management Science. Springer, Cham.
  21. Glinka, B. (2018). Znaczenie badań przedsiębiorczości imigrantów dla nauk o zarządzaniu [The relevance of immigrant entrepreneurship research to management science]. Studia i Prace Kolegium Zarządzania i Finansów, (161), 163-174.
  22. Granovetter, M. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology, 19(1), 33-50.
  23. Griffin-El, E.W., & Olabisi, J. (2018). Breaking Boundaries: Exploring the Process of Intersective Market Activity of Immigrant Entrepreneurship in the Context of High Economic Inequality. Journal of Management Studies, 55(3), 457-485.
  24. Harima, A., & Baron, T. (2020). Is this Transnational Entrepreneurship? Five Cases in Which It Is Hard to Say ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies, 6(1), 12-40.
  25. Hartmann, C., & Philipp, R. (2022). Lost in space? Refugee Entrepreneurship and Cultural Diversity in Spatial Contexts, ZFW – Advances in Economic Geography, 66(3), 151-171.
  26. Henn, S. (2014). Transnationale Unternehmer und wissensbasierte Regionalentwicklung – eine Untersuchung am Beispiel des Diamantsektors; [kumulative Habilitation] [Transnational entrepreneurs and knowledge-based regional development – an investigation using the diamond sector as an example]. Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt
  27. Hensel, P., & Glinka, B. (2012). Teoria ugruntowana. [In] Jemielniak D. (Ed.), Badania jakościowe. Podejścia i teoria [Grounded theory. Qualitative research], 1, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa, (pp. 89-113).
  28. Hess, M. (2004). ‘Spatial’ relationships? Towards a reconceptualization of embeddedness. Progress in Human Geography, 28(2), 165-186.
  29. Kloosterman, R. van der Leun, J., & Rath, J. (1999). Mixed embeddedness: (in)formal economic activities and immigrant businesses in the Netherlands. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 23(2), 252-266.
  30. Kordel, S., Sauerbrey, D., & Weidinger, T. (2022). Entrepreneurship among refugee newcomers in rural areas taking the example of grocery stores: aspirations, practices and their contribution to regional supply, Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning. DE, 80(5), 573-587.
  31. Kuckertz, A., Brändle, L., Gaudig, A., Hinderer, S., Morales Reyes, C.A., Prochotta, A., Steinbrink, K.M., & Berger, E. S.C. (2020). Startups in times of crisis – A rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, (13), e00169, ISSN 2352-6734,
  32. Kushnirovich, N. (2015). Economic Integration of Immigrant Entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 3(3), 9-27. https//
  33. Leicht, R., Di Bella, J., Langhauser, M., Leiß, M., Philipp, Volkert M.R., & Werner, L. (2012). Schöpferische Kraft der Vielfalt: Zugewanderte und ihre Unternehmen [The Creative Power of Diversity: Immigrants and their Companies]. Mannheim.
  34. Matejovsky, L., Mohapatra, S., & Steiner, B. (2014). The Dynamic Effects of Entrepreneurship on Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Canada. Growth and Change, 45(4), 611-639.
  35. Metzger, G. (2016). Migranten überdurchschnittlich gründungsaktiv – Arbeitsmarkt spielt eine große Rolle. Fokus Volkswirtschaft [Migrants more active than average in setting up businesses - labour market plays a major role. Focus on the national economy], No. 115, KfW Research.
  36. Munkejord, M.C. (2017). Becoming spatially embedded: findings from a study on rural immigrant entrepreneurship in Norway. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 5(1), 111-130.
  37. OECD (2021). International Migration Outlook 2021, OECD Publishing, Paris,
  38. Oinas, P. (1997). On the Socio-Spatial Embeddedness of Business Firms, Erdkunde, 51(1), 23-32.
  39. Polanyi, K. (1944). The Great Transformation. New York.
  40. Portes, A. (2001) Introduction: the debates and significance of immigrant transnationalism. Global Networks, 1(3),181-194.
  41. Portes, A., & Yiu, J. (2013) Entrepreneurship, transnationalism, and development. Migration Studies, 1(1), 75-95.
  42. Pries, L. (2001). The approach of transnational social spaces: responding to new configurations of the social and the spatial. In L. Pries, L. (Ed.) New transnational social spaces. International migration and transnational companies in the early twenty-first century (pp. 3-33). London: Routledge.
  43. Saxenian, A. (2007). The new argonauts: Regional advantage in a global economy. Harvard University Press.
  44. Sandoz, L., Mittmasser, Ch., Riaño, Y., & Piguet, E. (2022). A Review of Transnational Migrant Entrepreneurship: Perspectives on Unequal Spatialities. ZFW – Advances in Economic Geography.
  45. Schemschat, N. (2021). Refugee Arrival under Conditions of Urban Decline: From Territorial Stigma and Othering to Collective Place-Making in Diverse Shrinking Cities?. Sustainability, 13, 13301.
  46. Schepers, J., Vandekerkhof, P., & Dillen, Y. (2021). The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Growth-Oriented SMEs: Building Entrepreneurial Resilience. Sustainability, 13(16),
  47. Skraba, A., & Nowicka, M. (2018). Migration and Migrant Entrepreneurship in a German-Polish border region. Studia Migracyjne-Przegląd Polonijny, 44(3 (169)).
  48. Solano, G., Schutjens, V., & Rath, J. (2022). Multifocality and opportunity structure: towards a mixed embeddedness model for transnational migrant entrepreneurship. Comparative Migration Studies, 10(3),
  49. Sternberg, R., Levie, J., Elo, M., Amoros, J.E., & Solano, G. (2023). Transnational Diaspora Entrepreneurship: empirical findings, policy lessons and future research opportunities. In Research Handbook on Transnational Diaspora Entrepreneurship, Edward Elgar Publishing.
  50. Strauss, A., & Corbin, J.M. (1997). Grounded theory in practice: Sage.
  51. Terstriep, J., David, A., Ruthemeier, A., & Elo, M. (2022). The Role of Local Embeddedness of Transnational Migrant Start-ups in the COVID-19 Crises – Examples from the Berlin Start-up Ecosystem. IAT discussion paper, 22(05). Gelsenkirchen: Institut Arbeit und Technik.
  52. Vertovec, S. (2009). Transnationalism. London: Routledge.
  53. Walton-Roberts, M., & Hiebert, D. (1997). Immigration, entrepreneurship, and the family: Indo-Canadian enterprise in the construction industry of Greater Vancouver. Canadian Journal of Regional Science, 20(1), 119-140.
  54. Xavier, S.R., Kelley, D., Kew, J., Herrington, M., & Vorderwülbecke, A. (2013). Global entrepreneurship monitor 2012 global report. GEM Consortia.
  55. Yeung, H.W. (2005). Rethinking Relational Economic Geography. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 30(1), 37-51.
  56. Yeung, H.W. (2008). Transnationalizing entrepreneurship: a critical agenda for economic geography. Progress in Human Geography, 33(2), 210-235.


Download data is not yet available.

Similar Articles

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.