The main purpose of this article is to launch the debate on the important issue of ethnic minority entrepreneurs.
My working definition of ethnic minority entrepreneurs is that of entrepreneurs who are either immigrants or have an immigrant background.
This workshop offers us a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of the important contribution to Western economies already made by ethnic minority entrepreneurs and their potential to act as economic and social bridges with respect to their home countries. We all recognize the importance of entrepreneurship for competitiveness, jobs and growth, and also its potential contribution to social cohesion. As expressed by Erkki Likaneen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society: “If we want Europe to become more competitive and a more dynamic knowledge-based economy, as agreed by our leaders in Lisbon three years ago, we need more entrepreneurs. And immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial”.
Conference on Ethnic Entrepreneurship held in Brussels, the 26th of June, 2003.
Indeed, the Green Paper on Entrepreneurship in Europe Published by the European Commission highlights the fact that Europe still lacks entrepreneurial drive with one outstanding exception: Ethnic minority entrepreneurs, who throughout the European Union display a very strong capacity and potential for entrepreneurship!
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