Training functions of ethnic economies: Mexican entrepreneurs in Chicago

Rebeca Raijman, Marta Tienda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article evaluates the frequent claim that ethnic economies operate as a training sector for future entrepreneurs. Results from a representative community survey of Mexican business owners in Chicago show that previous employment in a coethnic firm increases the likelihood of acquiring skills relevant for running a business. Mexican business owners who previously worked in a coethnic firm were exposed to training opportunities that differ from the experiences of their ethnic counterparts who did not. However, Mexican immigrants' chances of entering the world of business through employment in a coethnic firm are low, as less than half ever worked for a coethnic boss before opening their current business. Thus the proliferation of Mexican-owned and Mexican-operated businesses may remain relatively low until the small base of Mexican businesses expands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-456
Number of pages18
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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