Key motivational factors behind Asian immigrant entrepreneurship: A causal relationship analysis employing the DEMATEL approach for Germany




immigrant entrepreneurship, causal relationship, pull and push factors, the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) method


Research background: Immigrant entrepreneurship remains a key issue for researchers, politicians, and policymakers. It has been widely discussed from different angles among various researchers in recent studies ? particularly in Europe. However, there is a lack of studies to present the motivation of the causal relationship between immigrant entrepreneurs.

Purpose of the article: This study aims to fill the gap and analyze the causal relationship between the motivations of Asian immigrant entrepreneurs in Germany.

Methods: The study was conducted through a face-to-face interview using a predesigned questionnaire from Asian business owners in Germany and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) approach was applied to analyze the data.

Findings & value added: The results show that capital acquisition, employment, financial problems in the family, and existence opportunities in the market are the factors that have higher priority, and may highly impact the Asian immigrant entrepreneurial decision. On the other hand, relatives or social networks remain the lowest priority factor that encourages Asian immigrants towards self-employment. The study has also found that entrepreneurship in the family, the state support policy for immigrants, low level of education, unfamiliarity with the local language, and dissatisfaction with the previous job belong to the cause group. However, some of the motivating factors relate to the effect group, such as capital acquisition, opportunity in the market, immigrant community ties or social networks, unemployment, and financial problems in the family. The most affected factor among the effect group is unemployment, while immigrant community ties or social network is the least affected factor. This study includes a novel interpretation of the DEMATEL approach that researchers have not yet addressed; therefore, it is highly relevant for policymakers, especially those interested in migration studies. Finding out the main driving forces behind Asian immigrant entrepreneurs in a developed European nation like Germany and how these drivers affect cause-and-effect interactions between them are the contributions that add value to the field.


Download data is not yet available.


Agarwal, S., Agrawal, V., Ramadani, V., Dixit, J. K., & Gërguri-Rashiti, S. (2023). An empirical investigation and assessment of entrepreneurial learning factors: A DEMATEL approach. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneur-ship, 25(1), 127?149. doi: 10.1108/JRME-05-2021-0059.

Agoh, E. T., & Kumpikaite-Valiuniene, V. (2018). Theoretical analysis of migrant motivations to entrepreneurship. International Entrepreneurship Review, 4(3), 29?46.

Ajide, F. M., Osinubi, T. T., & Dada, J. T. (2021). Economic globalization, entrepre-neurship, and inclusive growth in Africa. Journal of Economic Integration, 36(4), 689?717.

Andoh, R. C, Berrones-Flemmig, C. N., & Dornberger, U. (2019). Ghanaian immi-grant entrepreneurs in Germany: Motivations and contributions for develop-ment. Problemy Zarzadzania ? Management Issue, 17(1), 130?158. doi: 10.7172/1644-9584.81.7.

Ashourizadeh, S. Saeedikiya, M. Aeeni, Z., & Temiz, S. (2022). Formal sources of finance boost innovation: Do immigrant entrepreneurs benefit as much as na-tives? Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 10(2), 41?59. doi: 10.15678/ EBER.2022.100203.

Audretsch, D., Lehmann, E. E., & Wirsching, K. (2017). Female immigrant entre-preneurship in Germany. In A. N. Link (Ed.). Gender and entrepreneurial activity (pp. 46?68). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Azizan, N. A., & Sorooshian, S. (2018). A methodology review: Investigation of entrepreneurship success. Calitatea, 19(162), 82?91.

Baycan-Levent, T., & Kundak, S. (2009). Motivation and driving forces of Turkish entrepreneurs in Switzerland. Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 22(3), 283?308. doi: 10.1080/13511610903383710.

Baycan-Levant, T., & Nijkamp, P. (2009). Characteristics of migrant entrepreneur-ship in Europe. Journal of Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 21(4), 375?397. doi: 10.1080/08985620903020060.

Campbell, S., Greenwood, M., Prior, S., Shearer, T., Walkem, K., Young, S., By-waters, D., & Walker, K. (2020). Purposive sampling: complex or simple? Re-search case examples. Journal of Research in Nursing, 25(8), 652?661. doi: 10.1177/ 1744987120927206.

Chen, Y., Zhou, R., & Zhou, Y. (2022). Analysis of critical factors for the entrepre-neurship in industries of the future based on DEMATEL-ISM appro-ach. Sustainability, 14(24), 1?21. doi: 10.3390/su142416812.

Dabić, M., Vlacic, B., Paul, J., Dana, L-P., Sahasranaman, S., & Blinka, B. (2020). Immigrant entrepreneurship: A review and research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 113, 25?38. doi: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.03.013.

Dakare, O. (2019). Developing competitive strategies among entrepreneurial managers in Nigeria using the DEMATEL approach. International Journal of Management, Economics and Social Sciences (IJMESS), 8(2), 99?115. doi: 10.32327/ IJMESS/8.2.2019.7.

Del-Aguila-Arcentales, S., Alvarez-Risco, A., & Villalobos-Alvarez, D. (2022). Venezuelan migrants in Peru and their entrepreneurial intention during the Covid-19 pandemic. Entrepreneurial Business and Economics Review, 10(4), 7?22. doi: 10.15678/EBER.2022.100401.

Demkin, F. C., & Tas, Y. (2018). Applying DEMATEL approach to determine factors affecting hospital service quality in a university hospital: A case study. Journal of Administrative Sciences, 16(32), 11?28. (2022). Entrepreneurs with migration background in Germany. Retrieved from (20.11.2022).

El-Cherkeh, T., & Tolciu, A. (2009). Migrant entrepreneurs in Germany: Which role do they play? HWWI Policy Paper, 3-8, 1?30.

Elmassah, S., James, R., & Bacheer, S.M. (2022). Ethnic entrepreneurial success fac-tors: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates. Heliyon, 8, 1?11. doi: 10.1016 /j.heliyon.2022.e09639.

Embiricos, A. (2020). From refugee to entrepreneur? Challenges to refugee self-reliance in Berlin, Germany. Journal of Refugee Studies, 33(1), 246?267. doi: 10.109 3/jrs/fez073.

Erikson, B., Larsson, P., & Saruckij, M. (2006). Business startup motives and satis-faction among Swedish self-employed. World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2(4), 295?308. doi: 10.1504/WREMSD. 2006.010215.

Faria, J. R., Cuestas, J. C., & Mourelle, E. (2010). Entrepreneurship and unemploy-ment: a nonlinear bidirectional causality? Economic Modelling, 27(5), 1282?1291. doi: 10.1016/j.econmod.2010.01.022.

Feng, G. C., & Ma, R. (2020). Identification of the factors that influence service innovation in manufacturing enterprises by using the fuzzy DEMATEL meth-od. Journal of Cleaner Production, 253, 120002. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.120002.

Fozia, M., & Ranabahu, N. (2022). A disadvantage to an advantage: Immigrants entrepreneurs' use of the effectuation in business start-up and development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In L. P. Dana, N. Khachlouf, A. Maâlaoui & V. Ratten (Eds). Disadvantaged minorities in business. Contributions to management sci-ence (pp. 153?177). Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-97079-6_7.

García-Cabrera, A. M., Lucía-Casademunt, A. M., & Padilla-Angulo, L. (2020), Im-migrants' entrepreneurial motivation in Europe: Liabilities and assets. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 26(8), 1707?1737. doi: 10.1108/IJEBR-01-2020-0042.

Gu, W., Wang, J., Hua, X., & Liu, Z. (2021). Entrepreneurship and high-quality economic development: Based on the triple bottom line of sustainable devel-opment. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 17, 1?27. doi: 10.100 7/s11365-020-00684-9.

Hamid, H. A. (2020). Challenges experienced by immigrant entrepreneurs in a developing non-Western country: Malaysia. Entrepreneurial Business and Eco-nomics Review, 8(3), 7?25. doi: 10.15678/EBER.2020.080301.

Hamedi, H., & Mehdiabadi, A. (2020). Entrepreneurship resilience and Iranian organizations: Application of the fuzzy DANP technique. Asia Pacific Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 14(3), 231?247. doi: 10.1108/APJIE-10-2019-0074.

Hashemi, S. S., Amoozad Mahdiraji, H., Azari, M., & Razavi Hajiagha, S. H. (2022). Causal modelling of failure fears for international entrepreneurs in tourism industry: A hybrid Delphi-DEMATEL based approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 28(3), 602?627. doi: 10.1108/IJEBR-03-2021-0193.

Hemati, M., & Javadinia, M. (2012). A new approach to develop entrepreneurship of the industry using fuzzy DEMATEL. Management Science Letters, 2(4), 1279?1288. doi: 10.5267/j.msl.2012.02.011.

Hillmann, F. (2021). Coming of age: Migrant economies and social policies in Germany. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 13(3), 1?17. doi: 10.5130/ccs.v13.i3.7928.

Islam, S. (2012). Pull and push factors towards small entrepreneurship develop-ment in Bangladesh. Journal of Research in International Business Management, 2(3), 065?072.

Janta, H., Ladkin, A., Brown, L., & Lugosi, P. (2011). Employment experiences of Polish migrant workers in the UK hospitality sector. Tourism Management, 32(5), 1006?1019. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2010.08.013.

Khanaposhtani, G. F., Moghaddam, S. N., & Shirazi, H. K. (2015). Identification and analysis of the relationships between effective environmental factors in entre-preneurial success via fuzzy DEMATEL method. International Journal of Review in Life Sciences, 5, 17?24.

Khosa, R. M., & Kalitanyi, V. (2015). Migration reasons, traits and entrepreneurial motivation of African immigrant entrepreneurs: Towards an entrepreneurial migration progression. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 9(2), 132?155. doi: 10.1108/JEC-07-2014-0011.

Kordestani, A., Sattari, S., Peighambari, K., & Oghazi, P. (2017). Exclude me not: The untold story of immigrant entrepreneurs in Sweeden. Journal of Sustainability, 9, 1584. doi: 10.3390/su9091584.

Kumar, A., Kaviani, M. A., Bottani, E., Dash, M. K., & Zavadskas, E. K. (2018). In-vestigating the role of social media in polio prevention in India: A Delphi-DEMATEL approach. Kybernetes, 47(5), 1053?1072. doi: 10.1108/K-06-2017-0210.

Liargovas, P. G., & Skandalis, K. S. (2012). Motivations of migrant entrepreneur-ship in Greece: A factor analysis approach. Journal of Small Business and Enter-prise Development, 19(4), 627?639. doi: 10.1108/14626001211277433.

Lisi,S., You, X ?Y, Liu, H-C., & Zang, P. (2018). DEMATEL technique: A systematic review of the state-of-the-art literature on methodologies and applications. Hindawi Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 14, 1?33. doi: 10.1155/2018/36964 57.

Meluzin, T, & Zinecker, M. (2014). Reasons for IPO implementation: empirical evidence from the Polish capital market. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Enineering Eco-nomics, 25(3), 294?301. doi: 10.5755/

Meluzín, T., Zinecker, M., Balcerzak, A. P., Pietrzak, M. B., & Doubravský, K. (2021). Institutional settings and their impact on the IPO activity: An explora-tory study based on qualitative modelling. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 18(2), 215?235. doi: 10.12700/APH.18.2.2021.2.12.

Metelski, D., & Mihi-Ramirez, A. (2015). The economic impact of remittances and foreign trade on migration. Granger-Causality approach. Engineering Economics, 26(4), 364?372. doi: 10.5755/

Mukesh, H. V., & Pillai, R. (2020). Role of institutional ecosystem in entrepreneur-ship education: An empirical reiteration. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 29(1), 176?205. doi: 10.1177/0971355719893521.

Munkejord, M. C. (2017). Immigrant entrepreneurship contextualized: Becoming a female migrant entrepreneur in rural Norway. Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 11(2), 258?276. doi: 10.1108/ JEC-05-2015-0029.

Muthuraman, S., & Haziazi, M. A. (2018). Pull &push motives for women entre-preneurs in sultanate of Oman. ZENITH International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 8(7), 79?95.

Naudé, W., Siegel, M., & Marchand, K. (2017). Migration, entrepreneurship and development: Critical questions. IZA Journal of Migration, 6(1), 1?16. doi: 10.1186/ s40176-016-0077-8.

Payne, J. E., & Mervar, A. (2017).The entrepreneurship-unemployment nexus in Croatia. Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, 6(3), 375?384. doi: 10.1108/ JEPP-D-17-00013.

Qui?ones, R. S., Caladcad, J. A. A., Himang, C. M., Qui?ones, H. G., Castro, C. J., Caballes, S. A. A., Anbellana, D. P. M., Jailles, E. M. Y., & Ocampo, L. A. (2020). Using Delphi and fuzzy DEMATEL for analyzing the intertwined relationships of the barriers of university technology transfer: Evidence from a developing economy. International Journal of Innovation Studies, 4(3), 85?104. doi: 10.1016/j. ijis.2020.07.002.

Raghuvanshi, J., Agrawal, R., & Ghosh, P. K. (2017). Analysis of barriers to women entrepreneurship: The DEMATEL approach. Journal of Entrepreneurship, 26(2), 220?238. doi: 10.1177/0971355717708848.

Reuber, A. R., & Sinkovics, N. (2021). Beyond disciplinary silos: A systematic analysis of the migrant entrepreneurship literature. Journal of World Business, 56, 1?21. doi: 10.1016/j.jwb.2021.101223.

Samadi, A. H. (2019). Institutions and entrepreneurship: Unidirectional or bidirec-tional causality? Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, 9(1), 1?16. doi: 10.118 6/s40497-018-0129-z.

Seker, S., & Zavadskas, E. K. (2017). Application of fuzzy DEMATEL method for analyzing occupational risks on construction sites. Journal of Sustainability, 9(11), 1?19. doi: 10.3390/su9112083.

Sinnya, U., & Parajuli, N. (2012). Immigrant entrepreneurship: Why immigrants choose to become self-employed? A qualitative study of South and Southeast Asian immigrant entrepreneurs in Umea city. Retrieved from: (20.01.2022).

Sommer, E., & Gamper, M. (2017). Transnational entrepreneurial activities: A qual-itative network study of self-employed migrants from the former Sovit Union in Germany. Journal of Social Networks, 53, 136?147. doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2017.04. 007.

Statistics How To (2022). What is expert sampling? Retrieved from (29.01.2022).

Statistisches Bundesamt Deutschland (2021). Foreign population by sex and select-ed nationality. Retrieved from ironment/Population/Migration-Integration/Tables/foreigner-gender.html (20.11.2022).

Steinbach, A. (2018). Old migrants in Germany. Population Ageing, 11, 285?306. doi: 10.1007/s12062-017-9183-5.

Tamang, T. (2015). Immigrant entrepreneurship in Finland: Motivations, challeng-es and supports. Case: Nepalese entrepreneurs. Bachelor degree thesis, Lalpand University of Applied Science. Retrieved from /handle/10024/98169/Tamang_Tschring.pdf?isAllowed=y&sequence=1 (20.11.2022).

Torres-Coronas, T., & Vidal-Blasco, M.A. (2021). Predicting global entrepreneur-ship: An exploratory study. Educar, 57(2), 519?536. doi: 10.5565/rev/educar.1279.

Vinogradov, E., & Gabelko, M. (2010). Entrepreneurship among Russian immi-grants in Norway and their stay-at-Home peers. Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 15(4), 461?479. doi: 10.1142/S108494671000166X.




How to Cite

Sabary, G. S., Durda, L., Asad, A. I., & Ključnikov, A. (2023). Key motivational factors behind Asian immigrant entrepreneurship: A causal relationship analysis employing the DEMATEL approach for Germany. Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, 18(1), 287–318.