Migrant Entrepreneurship, ethnic entrepreneurship, minority entrepreneurship and multicultural entrepreneurship are all terms seeking to cover the same phenomenon.  Norwegian Center for Multicultural Value Creation is working on increasing focus and knowledge on multicultural entrepreneurship. Our main goal is to mobilize the migrants’ resources and contribute to the creation of innovative companies.
What is Multicultural Entrepreneurship?

Immigrant entrepreneurs or multicultural entrepreneurs are a very heterogeneous group of people with different gender, origin, and upbringing, with diverse resources, interests and characteristics. This raises challenges when talking about "immigrant entrepreneurship", "ethnic entrepreneurship", or "minority entrepreneurship". These terms have a slightly different approach in defining the same phenomenon - immigrants and their descendants who start a business in a country other than their native country. A person who came to Norway from Somalia as a two-year-old can be expected to have other prerequisites to establish a business than a newly arrived refugee from Syria. Nevertheless, the second generation still may experience challenges in the labor market and/or in starting their own businesses.
 
Norwegian Centre for Multicultural Value Creation has chosen to use the term "Multicultural Entrepreneurship" to describe the above. In our opinion, this term is less excluding and categorizing. It focuses on the strength of belonging to several cultures and possessing additional resources as a multicultural person. Definitions seeking to describe people of different cultural origins are constantly changing. Different countries' immigration stories are different, and definitions that are used extensively in England and the United States cannot be directly transferred to Norway- a country with a relatively short history of immigration.
 
What Distinguishes Multicultural Entrepreneurs from Others?
 
There are many similarities between multicultural entrepreneurship and mainstream entrepreneurship. Yet there are some factors that make the multicultural entrepreneur stand out from the mainstream entrepreneurs. Data from Statistics Norway indicate that companies founded by immigrants in Norway have lower survival rate the first five years than established companies in general (SSB, 2012). Both Norwegian and international research shows that immigrants experience greater and more barriers when it comes to the creation and development of their own company.
 
Barriers they face are:
• Difficulty in obtaining capital in different phases, even after the business establishment
• Lack of knowledge about ways of funding and unrealistic expectations when it comes to raising capital
. Difficulty in getting sufficient support in different phases of business establishment
• Difficulties in gaining access to business networks
• Difficulty in understanding the regulations
• Lack of business knowledge and the business culture and practice in Norway
• Less familiar with market situation in terms of customer demand and the competition.
Internationally, immigrants are the trend setters in innovation. Big technology companies like Tesla, Whatsapp, Google etc are all established by the immigrants. However, we see a different situation in Norway compared to the US. Many immigrants start businesses in the over established industries such as cleaning services and food. These types of "bread and butter" businesses are easy ways for entering the job market. They do not necessarily unleash the resources and the potential of the migrant entrepreneurs. Work Research Institute (AFI) reported in 2009 that the combination of the multiple barriers are preventing entrepreneurs from developing business ideas with higher degree of innovation that appeal to larger markets beyond their own ethnic groups. This often leads to business startups  in the so-called "immigrant-dominated industries" with little growth potential. To exploit the potential and increase value creation in multicultural business establishment, it is important to obtain new knowledge about this type of entrepreneurship. There is also a need to upgrade the capacity and develop methodologies and tools that better mobilize multicultural resources on the road to business creation.
 
The reason behind the tendency for business startup among immigrants can be explained by a number of factors:
 
• Difficult labor market
• Unemployment, over-qualification or temporary employment
• Discrimination
• Difficulties in meeting the expectations of the workplace
• Strong drive and ambition to succeed, be the family's pride
• Cultural traditions for self-employment
• Willingness to take risks
• Ability to see the society from a new perspective
• Strong desire for participation
 
What are the effects of multicultural value creation?

Norwegian Centre for Multicultural Value Creation experiences that value is created on multiple levels when people with multicultural backgrounds establish businesses.
• New businesses entail economic growth and employment in itself.
• Decreased unemployment both due to self-employment and job creation for others
• Increased trade between Norway and abroad
• Addressing new opportunities and markets
• Introducing new products
• Increased innovation
• Boost in stagnating industries or abandoned communities
• Integration