POLISH ENTREPRENEURS IN SCOTLAND: LIFE TRAJECTORIES, SOCIAL CAPITAL AND BUSINESS STRATEGIES
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Based on case studies conducted in the greater Glasgow area, the paper focuses on the experiences of Polish Entrepreneurs in a migration context. Very little is known about Polish immigrant businesses that have been set up in Western Europe in this latest EU post-enlargement era. The aim of this paper is to examine the key factors leading to emigration, business start-ups and settlement by Polish Entrepreneurs in Scotland; including the relationship with the Polish Community. The paper proposes a new understanding of Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship and innovative behaviour. This research highlights the importance of incremental strategies for emigration, business start-up and settlement amongst Polish Entrepreneurs in Scotland. Prior to venturing into a business start-up, most of the Polish new-born Entrepreneurs interviewed had secured a job in the UK using employment agencies from Poland. However, this employment had failed to meet their standard of living expectations. In addition, the Polish Entrepreneurs studied, unlike other Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurs, rely solely on their own savings rather than benefiting from financial resources and advice from the Polish community. The Polish community is seen as a market and Polish Entrepreneurs are able to spot opportunities within the enclave-markets. Finally, the role of the household in the decision to become self-employed will be highlighted to better understand longer-term settlement amongst Polish Entrepreneurs.
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