Immigrant and second-generation Turkish entrepreneurs in Melbourne Australia: a qualitative investigation of entrepreneurial motivations

Yasemin Soydas, Torgeir Aleti

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to examine the key differences between first-and second-generation immigrant entrepreneurs in their path to entrepreneurship. The aim of the study is to better understand entrepreneurial motivations amongst immigrants by comparing first-and secondgeneration entrepreneurs in their motivation for business entry, reliance on co-ethnic market, use of social and financial capital, business planning and marketing practices. Design/methodology/approach-Using an interpretivist approach and a qualitative design, this study comprises 20 in-depth interviews with first-and second-generation Turkish entrepreneurs (TEs) in Melbourne, Australia. Turks in Australia were chosen because of their high level of entrepreneurial activity. In order to uncover deep-seeded motivations, participants were interviewed in a face-to-face format guided by a semi-structured interview guide. Findings-The second-generation TEs were distinctively different from their first-generation counterparts in motivation for business entry, business establishment and use of ethnicity. The analysis shows that although the generations differ in their approach to business establishment, they both appear to be drawn to entrepreneurship based on pull factors . This is in contrast with previous literature suggesting that first-generation immigrant entrepreneurs were motivated by push factors . Originality/value-This paper suggests that both first-and second-generation immigrant entrepreneurs are pulled into entrepreneurship voluntarily. While the first-generation entrepreneurs seem to be motivated/pulled by financial reasons, the second generation are motivated by opportunity recognition, status and ambition. Nevertheless, a lack of trust in government support agency is found within both generations. Thus, outreach activities towards entrepreneurial immigrant communities may have positive effects for the economy as well as in the integration of ethnic enclaves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-174
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • entrepreneurs
  • networking
  • immigrants
  • qualitative techniques
  • resources
  • ethnic groups

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