Chapter 4 Chinese Entrepreneurship in Portugal

The Interaction of Ethnic Resources and a Host Society’s Opportunity Structure

In: The Presence of China and the Chinese Diaspora in Portugal and Portuguese-Speaking Territories
Catarina Reis Oliveira
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Chinese arrivals have contributed to the diversification of the occupational profile of immigrants in Portugal and to the increase of foreigners’ entrepreneurial rates, defining alternative forms of economic integration and creating new economic niches for immigrants. During the past few decades, the Chinese have become the immigrant group with the highest entrepreneurial rates in Portugal. Three explanatory dimensions – the individual resources, the immigrant community resources, and the opportunity structure of Portugal as a host society – are considered, to identify the determinants of these exceptional entrepreneurial rates. This chapter aims to detail the effects of the Portuguese opportunity structure in Chinese entrepreneurship over the past four decades, considering the opportunities and barriers generated by the legal framework, the economy, and public opinion; highlighting that Chinese entrepreneurial strategies are far more complex than the interplay of ethnic resources alone would suggest. It will be shown that Chinese entrepreneurs are not a homogeneous and an unchangeable group but are dynamic, according to individual capacities for mobilizing community resources, and reacting to the host society’s opportunity structure over time.

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