Attitudes towards participation in business development programmes: An ethnic comparison in Sweden

Purpose – The aim of the study is to investigate whether there are any differences between the attitudes towards participation in development programmes of entrepreneurs who are immigrants and those who are native-born. Design/methodology/approach – Several statistical methods, including a binary logistic regression model, were used to analyse a unique, firm-level dataset collected by the Swedish Small Business Forum in October and November 2012. The dataset was based on a questionnaire composed of 60 closed questions that was completed by 531 participants representing 395 companies. Findings – Based on the analysis of 15 different attitude variables, the empirical findings are that immigrant managers/owners are more likely to show a positive attitude to participation in development programmes, in terms of nine of those attitude variables, than their native counterparts. Because there are no data about second generation of immigrants in the sample, thus, this category may have had an impact on the results. However, there is no possibility to identify any impact on the results. Originality/value – There is no prior research focusing specifically on this question, and to the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first that has attempted to deal with the issue. This study is based on a recent and unique database, and provides new evidence on the relationship between ethnicity and attitude towards participation in development programmes among entrepreneurs. Its context is different from that of prior research.

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