Volume 12, 2007 : Immigrant Scholars Write about Identity and Integration

Immigrant Women’s Entrepreneurship
Nonna Kushnirovich
Department of Economics and Management
Institute for Immigration and Integration, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of gender and immigrant status on entrepreneurial activities of FSU immigrants. This study investigates whether immigrant women entrepreneurs experience a double disadvantage regarding resources, ongoing business operations and business outcomes. The target research population consisted of Israeli-born and FSU immigrant entrepreneurs who came to Israel between 1989 and 2005 and were operating businesses at the time of the study. 153 FSU immigrant and 214 Israel-born business owners were surveyed, including four groups: immigrant women and men, Israeli-born women and men.The study found many gender-based differences among Israeli-born entrepreneurs, whereas immigrant women were similar to immigrant men. All immigrant entrepreneurs (both women and men) draw on poorer resource base than Israeli-born men entrepreneurs. The barriers encountered by immigrant women in their current business operations are ethnicity-specific and not gender-specific. To conclude, immigrant women entrepreneurs are disadvantaged because they are part of an immigrant group and not because of their gender; thus, they do not experience a double disadvantage.

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