Kenniscentrum Techniek

Looking beyond individual-based diversity


Amsterdam is known to be a cosmopolitan and multicultural city with multiple economic opportunities. Such context provides suitable legal, political and economic conditions where newly arrived migrants are introducing their business ideas. Migrant entrepreneurs are interacting with the economic ecosystem of Amsterdam using their entrepreneurial ideas, and this paper examines the diversity in their networks of business contacts involved in their business idea.

While earlier studies have shown the benefits for entrepreneurs when using contacts to reach resources, advice and support; the situation for migrant entrepreneurs can help us understand better various aspects of network diversity. The starting idea is that migratory processes (partially) break business connections created before migration, for example with classmates or former colleagues. But, partly thanks to digital communication, some of those networks are being kept and used as support in the country of destination.

I describe the way that migrant entrepreneurs combine different people for business purposes, and based on this analysis I show the various facets of network diversity that play a distinct role to support the business of migrant entrepreneurs in Amsterdam’s urban ecosystem. Networks of contacts who are created as part of the migratory experiences contribute largely to the choice of the sector and the product. Contacts with strong relationships help migrant entrepreneurs to find their way in a new location (Fullin and Reyneri, 2011; Ambrosini, 2013; Toruńczyk-Ruiz, 2014).

These contacts provide the (business) support that migrant have (partially) lost due to migrating; and they also provide information and resources used in the implementation of the business due to geographic proximity (Nathan, 2015; Solano, 2015).

Reference Alvarado Valenzuela, J. F. (2019). Looking beyond individual-based diversity. Paper presented at RENT 2019 Conference , Berlin, Germany.
Published by  CAREM 27 November 2019

Publication date

Nov 2019


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