The Internationalization or Transnationalization of
Ethnic Entrepreneurship: The Situation in Canada

Authors: Sylvie PARE,Teresa V. MENZIES,
Gabrielle A. BRENNER and Louis Jacques FILION

Published in: Vol:8 No.1 / 2007

      The internationalization of businesses in the context of the emerging global economy is attracting an increasing amount of attention in publications, especially those dealing with international entrepreneurship. How does this affect ethnic entrepreneurship? What can we learn from first, second and third-generation immigrants? Would it be more accurate to speak of the transnationalization rather than the internationalization of ethnic business activities? What are the specific features of this internationalization/transnationalization, from one generation to the next?
      Using information on entrepreneurs from five ethnic groups – Chinese, Italian, Indian/Sikh, Vietnamese and Jewish – in samples drawn from the three largest Canadian cities, Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, the data on the specific theme of internationalization/transnationalization are presented and analyzed. The business relations of the entrepreneurs with their country of origin are examined specifically to verify the intensity of business activity development both in the country of origin and with people from their own ethnic group. The five ethnic groups were selected because of their significant representation in Canadian immigration. The variables that received the most scrutiny were ethnicity, gender and location, and their effects on the internationalization /transnationalization of the businesses concerned.