Episode 41 – Lisa Braito – Chinese migrant microenterprises and social capital: a multiple case study analysis in industrial clusters in Italy
Migrant entrepreneurship has been acknowledged in the literature to be a dynamic and diffused phenomenon that characterizes local systems within European countries in the form of ethnic economies. The aim of the paper is to investigate the phenomenon of ethnic quasi-enclave industrial sub-clusters within industrial districts and to analyse social capital within the economic and social dynamics. The interpretative framework adapts the mixed-embeddedness approach to a case study of Wenzhounese migrant socioeconomic quasi-enclave leather industrial sub-clusters located adjacent to the industrial district area of Florence (Italy). Given the complexity of the phenomenon, the research study adopted a mixed-method approach. The qualitative methods included a one-year observational analysis, in-depth interviews conducted with key stakeholders and life-course interviews conducted with migrant Wenzhounese entrepreneurs. Structured interviews were conducted with multiple micro-entrepreneurs and their households to conduct a multiple-case study analysis and social network analysis. Both were based on data collected via a survey administered to a random sample of enterprises. This analysis contributes to the existing literature on migrant enterprises and communities within industrial clusters in Italy, adding new evidence related to ethnic entrepreneurship and the importance of social capital in the social and economic dynamics that influence micro entrepreneurs and their community.
Full article available on Taylor & Francis website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08985626.2022.2062620