Social embeddedness, entrepreneurial orientation and firm growth in ethnic minority small businesses in the United Kingdom

Catherine L. Wang, Levent Altinay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of ethnic minority small businesses (EMSBs) and its antecedents and consequences are under-researched. Grounded in ethnic entrepreneurship theory and the social embeddedness approach, this paper examines the relationships of EMSBs’ access to various networks, their EO, and firm growth. Drawing on quantitative data collected through 258 face-to-face structured interviews with Chinese and Turkish EMSBs in London, UK, our findings reveal that family and co-ethnic advice and labour do not have a significant impact on firms’ EO. Instead, both access to co-ethnic products and access to co-ethnic suppliers of utilities and facilities have significant impacts on firms’ EO, which in turn has a significant positive impact on employment growth. Moreover, Chinese EMSBs demonstrate a higher level of EO and pursue different paths to growth (i.e. more likely to grow through acquiring more business premises) compared with Turkish EMSBs. The findings have important implications for the understanding of growth patterns of EMSBs, particularly the role of EO in the EMSBs’ break-out strategies and growth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-23
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


  • entrepreneurial orientation
  • social embeddedness
  • ethnic entrepreneurshhip
  • Chinese and Turkish ethnic minority firms in London
  • firm growth

Cite this