Of first generation immigrants, the things that pass : A study into the use of human and social capital of successful Hindu-Surinamese entrepreneurs in the Netherlands

W. Hulsink, K. Rusinovic, W. Tahloe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


The comparison between first and second-generation ethnic entrepreneurs and their utilization of social capital and human capital in achieving new venture success is underresearched (Rušinovi!, 2006; 2007; Sequeria & Rasheed, 2004). The main objective of this research is to investigate how social capital and human capital are used among first and second-generation ethnic entrepreneurs to achieve new venture success. In order to research this gap in current literature, this study has focussed on a specific group of ethnic entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. While the Surinamese community in the Netherlands exists of several sub-communities with distinguishable values and norms, in current research no distinction was made between the separate sub-communities. The Hindu-Surinamese, with a strong tradition of trading and mixing family with business, were chosen as the focal group of immigrant entrepreneurs. This explorative research, with a qualitative research design, has been conducted among seven first-generation Hindu-Surinamese business owners and seven second-generation Hindu-Surinamese ethnic entrepreneurs with an own firm in the Netherlands. In the process of using human and social capital and achieving new venture success, substantial differences were found between the first and second-generation of ethnic entrepreneurs. Prior knowledge and previous experience are of great influence in the opportunity recognition and exploitation of an opportunity while realizing survival during the emergent phase. For the second generation, previous experience is also essential while exploiting an opportunity during early growth. While none of the first-generation ethnic entrepreneurs indicated their general education to be of any importance during the exploitation of an opportunity in emergence or early growth, numerous second-generation Hindu-Surinamese ethnic entrepreneurs identified their general education as relevant for their own firm. Specific education or courses have been found to be similarly important for both groups With regard to the crucial start-up resources needed during emergence of the new venture, the first-generation Hindu-Surinamese rely predominantly on strong ties, whereas the second-generation exploits social capital from strong ties, weak and no ties. During early growth of the new venture, both groups emphasized the role of weak and no ties. However, each generation enabled these relations in another way. For the first-generation, the utilization of strong ties was not sufficient to achieve the early growth aims. The second-generation however, were now found to use mainly weak and no ties during the early growth phase. The development of ties, with whom initially no contact or connection existed, into weak or even strong ties seems to be a typical phenomenon for the second-generation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDag van de Sociologie, 10th of June, 2010, Groningen
EditorsR. Bosman, A. Glebbeek
Place of PublicationGroningen
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventDag van de Sociologie 2010 -
Duration: 10 Jun 201010 Jun 2010


ConferenceDag van de Sociologie 2010

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