Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

Open access



All entrepreneurs face challenges during their venture start-up process, but immigrant entrepreneurs face additional and distinctive challenges due to their contextual newness. This paper focuses on understanding the intertwined journeys of nascent entrepreneurship and cross-cultural adaptation of immigrants in a small Western European country where immigrant entrepreneurship is still a relatively new phenomenon.


The induction-driven, 18-month longitudinal empirical inquiry focused on six early-stage nascent entrepreneurs. Qualitative methods included participant observation during an enterprise program, qualitative interviews and ongoing informal communication.


The data uncovered the interplay between the nascent immigrant entrepreneurship and cross-cultural adaptation. This led to the development of a novel conceptual framework which highlights how the cross-cultural adaptation domain links with the process of recognition, evaluation and exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities by immigrant entrepreneurs. While varying temporarily and contextually, cross-cultural adaptation was found to create both enabling and constraining tensions within the nascent entrepreneurial experiences of immigrants.

Research limitations/implications

It is recognized that undertaking just six cases may present a significant limitation of the research, but a close examination of even one individual's lived experience can yield valuable insights. It is hoped that future work will test the highlighted research propositions and other findings in different empirical contexts, and so add to the emerging conceptual framework on nascent immigrant entrepreneurship within the context of cross-cultural adaptation.


No previous qualitative studies have been undertaken seeking to understand how cross-cultural adaptation interacts with the early stages of nascent immigrant entrepreneurial activity. By integrating new venture creation and cross-cultural adaptation theories, this research contributes to the conceptualisation of early stages of nascent entrepreneurial activities of immigrants in a new host environment. The implications of the research are also relevant to enterprise support bodies, policymakers and practitioners who support immigrant entrepreneurship.