Self-employment amongst migrant groups: new evidence from England and Wales

Ken Clark, Stephen Drinkwater, C. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-employment constitutes a vital part of the economy since entrepreneurs can provide employment not only for themselves but also for others. The link between self-employment and immigration is, however, complex, especially given the changing nature of self-employment. We investigate the evolving relationship between self-employment and immigration using recently released microdata from the 2011 Census for England and Wales. Our findings indicate large variations, with high self-employment rates observed for some groups with a long established history of migration to the UK (especially men born in Pakistan) and also for some groups who have arrived more recently (such as from the EU’s new member states). We further explore the differences, analyse variations by gender and identify key determining factors. In addition to certain socio-economic characteristics, it is found that migration-related influences, such as English language proficiency and period of arrival in the UK, play an important role for some groups.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1047-1069
Number of pages23
JournalSmall Business Economics
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016


  • Self-employment
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Immigrants


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