Abstract

We draw on theories from sociology, economics, and economic geography, namely ethnic enclave theory, location theory, and heterolocalism theory to investigate factors that aspiring highlyeducated immigrant entrepreneurs take into account when they decide where to locate their start-up. In doing so, we used conjoint analysis with 79 first-generation international graduate students with entrepreneurial intention at a university in the U.S. south. Results showed that location-specific costs of doing business had a negative impact on the likelihood to choose a location. In addition, government support, coethnic social capital and non-coethnic social capital positively influenced the likelihood to choose a location. Furthermore, reliance on ethnic financial capital moderated the relationship between costs of doing business and the likelihood to choose a location. Findings of this study are applicable to start-up location decisions of other minority entrepreneurs in developed countries that have historically been restricted to certain areas and are increasingly on track to locate in new destinations. Furthermore, these findings can be applied to transnational entrepreneurs’ start-up location decisions.

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