FINANCIAL FUNDING OF IMMIGRANT BUSINESSES
Vol. Volume 13, Number 2 June/2008
This study investigates differences in financial funding between immigrant and nonimmigrant businesses and delineates factors influencing financial funding of immigrant businesses. Data for the study were collected in Israel between the years 2000 and 2005. By combining convenient and snowball samples, 214 native Israelis and 153 FSU immigrant entrepreneurs answered a questionnaire. We classified financial sources for immigrant businesses according to their affiliation to the ethnic community, and according to their relation to official financial institutions. Our study revealed that the scope of funding of immigrant businesses is significantly smaller than that of nonimmigrant businesses. Immigrant entrepreneurs are more likely to finance their businesses from informal sources but they use fewer loans from family and friends than nonimmigrant entrepreneurs. We found that immigrant entrepreneurs who deal with co-ethnic clients do not use more ethnic sources of capital for financing their businesses: the share of co-ethnic clients does not influence the ratio of ethnic financial sources for both setting up and expanding immigrant businesses. Our study revealed that governmental support in the terms of designated loans is the most salient factor influencing financial funding of immigrant businesses. The results suggest important implications for public policy.