Möglichkeiten und Grenzen gesellschaftlichen Engagements migrantischer UnternehmerInnen
Publishing year: 2015
Economic activity and corporate citizenship of migrants (re-) emerge increasingly as a matter of policy, research and media. The growing concentration of immigrants in German cities is a controversial issue, but the focus is shifting noticeably from a problem-oriented towards a potential-oriented one. The potentials of migrant entrepreneurs are seen basically in their growing contribution to the overall economic performance, their provision of basic-services in deprived urban neighbourhoods and their function as employers, providers of apprenticeship positions, locational advantage as well as social meeting place and information exchange platform for other immigrants. This study serves as a first approach to a contemporary as well as highly complex issue, which currently lacks in comparable research. Therefore theories and empirical findings about migrant entrepreneurship, corporate citizenship and social commitment of migrants as the three main objects of investigation are brought together and proved in terms of their practicability and validity. A surprising – and maybe the most fundamental – finding is that ethnic economy does not exist as an empirically proved category at all. The case study focuses on Aktives Zentrum und Sanierungsgebiet Müllerstraße in the sub-area Wedding of Mitte district in Berlin which is an assisted area by several urban development promotion programmes. It becomes apparent that migrants are actively involved in the local community and therefore they often act in loose forms of interfaith and interethnic cooperation. The strategic implementation of corporate social responsibility or corporate citizenship plays no role in the most companies at all. This observation, however, can be made for small businesses on the whole. The research also shows that migrants are often engaged in fields where they are underrepresented as entrepreneurs, such as social and health-related issues. Furthermore there is a noticeable lack of experience in professional and political lobbying as well as little knowledge of opportunities for participation and cooperation in projects conducted in the context of the urban development promotion programmes. Thus, a more integrated policy approach concerning social engagement adopted by the federal, state and local governments in recent years must be continued consequently. This includes a continuous improvement of the regulatory framework for economic and social integration, which can be solved less on the local level.