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Immigrant Entrepreneurs in France: A European Overview

  • Author(s): Simon, Gildas
  • et al.
Abstract

The increasing visibility of foreign businesses in the commercial web of cities, their entry into the usual street scene, the reactions of French society and the socio-political issues knotted around urban perception of immigra-tion have provoked and even forced the interest of resear-chers and also public powers, territorial communities and political parties.This interest is particularly enhanced by the fact that the emergence of immigrants in the field of entrepreneurship naturally poses the important question of the integration of immigrants in French society and how to get there- question henceforth publicly situated at the heart of French society with the creation in February, 1990 of the"Haut Comite a l'integration! ,(High Comity for Integration)

The geographer is naturally tempted to approach these questions through the angle of space and the relations that foreign entrepreneurs maintain with it at different e-chelons. So it would be that for a shopkeeper the choice of an urbanized area or a dynamic neighborhood, the seeking-out of a good location at an advantageous point in a system of streets and thoroughfares constitute elements as important for the strategy of an individual or group as the application of appropriate methods of management.Spatial strategies have rapidly evolved since the outset of the 8Os, and new plans for action are being elaborated within French and European space in the perspective of the great single market of 1992. But before taking up this important point, it would appear helpful, in the framework of this international colloquium in this mecca of research on the ethnic enterprise, to provide a run-through on the progression of research in France dealing with this subject and to venture a brief synthesis of our most recent findings concerning the upsurge and characteristics of ethnic entrepreneurship in France.

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