Immigrant and US-born Mexican-owned business: Motivations and management

Rachel S. Shinnar*, Melissa S. Cardon, Micki Eisenman, Virginia Solis Zuiker, Myung Soo Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In this study, we seek to understand the key differences between the entrepreneurial experience for Mexican immigrant and US-born Mexican entrepreneurs. We focus on differences in motivation for start-up, reliance on ethnic enclaves and business management practices. Using data from the 2005 National Minority Business Owner Survey, our sample consisted of 156 Mexican American entrepreneurs (55 immigrants and 101 US-born). Results suggest that even within a particular minority group, there are key distinctions between immigrant and US-born entrepreneurs. For example, US-born Mexican entrepreneurs are more motivated by the individualistic financial benefits of being an entrepreneur, while Mexican immigrant entrepreneurs are more motivated by serving society and their co-ethnic community. Implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)273-295
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Developmental Entrepreneurship
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
bA nonpartisan research organization supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts,


  • Business financing
  • Ethnic enclave
  • Mexican American
  • Minority entrepreneurship
  • Motivation


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