Approximating entrepreneurial superdiversity:
reconceptualizing the superdiversity debate in ethnic minority entrepreneurship

by Sakura Yamamura (MPI-MMG) and Paul Lassalle (University of Strathclyde, UK) 

Working Papers WP 19-02
March 2019
ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)

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One decade after its introduction, the superdiversity concept (Vertovec, 2007) has widely found echoes in migration research, but also in business studies, particularly in ethnic minority entrepreneurship (EME). Apart from discussing EME as a rather generic superdiversity phenomenon, however, the debate on entrepreneurial superdiversity lacks in proper conceptualization. Dimensions missing are: 1) ethnic but also religious and linguistic diversity of entrepreneurship, 2) entrepreneurial diversity regarding business-types and 3) the incorporation of the city as the analytical unit. On the empirical basis of an extensive intra-urban analysis of ethnic businesses in Glasgow, using ethnographically assessed site surveys combined with statistical data, this paper contributes to the operationalization and conceptualization of entrepreneurial superdiversity. In doing so, it proposes the Entrepreneurial Superdiversity Index (ESI), which is a viable method for approximating entrepreneurial superdiversity in cities. The ESI allows intra- and inter-urban comparative analyses of entrepreneurial superdiversity, and also delivers grounds for developing a general index for urban superdiversity research.   

Keywords: Superdiversity, ethnic minority entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial superdiversity index, site-survey, ethnographic assessment, urban analysis.  

Sakura Yamamura is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity. She has previously worked at the University of Kiel and was Junior Research Fellow at the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) at Maastricht University. She specializes in the capturing and visualizing of socio-spatial diversification in cities.
Sakura Yamamura, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity, Hermann-Föge-Weg 11, 37073 Göttingen, Germany yamamura(at)mmg.mpg.de.

Paul Lassalle is a Lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship (University of Strathclyde, UK). He is interested in developing contextual approaches for understanding the entrepreneurial activities of entrepreneurs from migrant and minority groups within the structures in which they are embedded and operate. Amongst different research projects, he has explored the migration and entrepreneurial experiences of Polish migrant entrepreneurs in Glasgow, UK.
Paul Lassalle, University of Strathclyde, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Sir Duncan Wing, Glasgow G4 0QU, UK paul.lassalle(at)strath.ac.uk.