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Do Immigrant Entrepreneurs Have Natural Cognitive Advantages for International Entrepreneurial Activity?

Laura Helen Middermann ()
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Laura Helen Middermann: Department for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Technical University Berlin, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 7, 1-13

Abstract: Are entrepreneurs with an immigration background more willing to internationalize their entrepreneurial firms compared to their nonimmigrant peers? Previous research has already emphasized that immigrant entrepreneurs possess superior human resources and social capabilities—such as international experience, networks and language skills—that help them to better identify and evaluate international entrepreneurial opportunities. However, literature other than capability-based explanations is rare, and thus it is not yet understood in what sense immigrant entrepreneurs differ from other entrepreneurs in terms of their cognitive characteristics for international entrepreneurial activity. This study addresses this gap by involving a quantitative study of Berlin-based high-tech founding entrepreneurs to empirically investigate how immigrant entrepreneurs vary in their cognitive characteristics, and how this affects their intention to engage in international entrepreneurship. The findings show that immigrant entrepreneurs possess higher levels of proactive behavior, which lead to a more favorable evaluation of international business opportunities, and in turn positively affect the willingness to engage in international entrepreneurial activity. This contributes to a deeper understanding of immigrant entrepreneurs’ natural cognitive advantages and the role they play for entrepreneurial growth, success and national economic development.

Keywords: immigrant entrepreneurship; international entrepreneurship; migration; cognition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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