Immigrant entrepreneurship: a study in cooperation with MicroStart

03 augustus 2020

The aim of this thesis is to identify and analyze the different barriers immigrant entrepreneurs experience in starting or running a business, and to add value in guiding and supporting immigrant entrepreneurs in Belgium.

In the first part, an extensive literature review is performed on the matter, including the conceptual framework used to analyze the different barriers that immigrant entrepreneurs face. The main barriers identified in the conceptual framework are: human capital, access to entrepreneurship, social capital, the institutional environment and the societal environment. The thesis then describes the methodology of the research, and further outlines the sub-questions and their corresponding statistical tests. In a detailed third section the thesis provides an analysis, in which statistical tests are performed on the data gathered through a survey.

The purpose of the analysis is to investigate which barriers have a significant effect on the business conduct of immigrant entrepreneurs, compared to natives.

The results indicate that immigrant entrepreneurs use their social network significantly more to gather information and it is a specific source of support when they experience difficulties in their access to entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the results indicate that being informed on the Belgian legislation seems to form a specific barrier to immigrant entrepreneurs. Based on the results obtained from the analysis, the thesis then draws conclusions and recommendations in a fourth section.

The findings and recommendations are intended to contribute to the improvement of guidance and economic integration of immigrant entrepreneurs in Belgium.


Senne Stessens


Prof. dr. Marc Deloof




Universiteit Antwerpen