Small Business Economics

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 313–326 | Cite as

An Exploration of Entrepreneurial Activity among Asian Small Businesses in Britain

  • Anuradha Basu


This paper investigates various aspects of Asian entrepreneurship based on a survey of small Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi businesses in Britain. It analyses the motives for business entry, the choice of initial business, the factors that influence business success and the validity of treating Asian businesses as a homogeneous group. It cannot support the hypothesis that Asians were pushed into self-employment in order to avoid unemployment. The nature of entrepreneurial entry, predominantly through small retail businesses, depends largely on the access to informal, rather than formal, sources of capital and information or advice as well as on the entrant's previous experience. Business success appears to be closely related both to the share of personal capital invested at start-up and to the entrepreneur's educational qualifications. The evidence suggests that the motives for business entry differ among the three Asian communities studied although that does not seem to have a lasting effect on their business success. The predisposition of many well educated Asian migrants towards establishing businesses with their own capital in an unfamiliar environment illustrates their entrepreneurial spirit. The paper points to the potential role of banks and government agencies in encouraging the creation of many more such small businesses in Britain.


Government Agency Small Business Homogeneous Group Industrial Organization Entrepreneurial Activity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anuradha Basu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of ReadingWhiteknights, ReadingU.K.

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