Foreign Entrepreneurship in Denmark: What are the Challenges that Immigrant Entrepreneurs Face?

Gor Zhamharyan

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate and analyze the immigrant entrepreneurship and the challenges that foreign entrepreneurs face while conducting business in Denmark. There are two main ideas behind this thesis: increased number of immigrants in Denmark during the last 5 years and limited number of studies conducted on the topic of ethnic/immigrant entrepreneurship in Denmark. Based on a literature review on immigrant entrepreneurship in the US, Europe and Denmark as well as the liability of foreignness and CAGE distance framework, qualitative research with 12 semistructured interviews was conducted with 12 immigrant entrepreneurs located in Copenhagen. Analysis of the data collected demonstrated that the immigrant entrepreneurship in Denmark has commonalities with the studies on the topic of European foreign entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, the tendency of internationalization and creation of immigrant entrepreneurial “communities” which are not based on the ethnicity was noticed. Furthermore, the analysis showed that the main challenges are common to the ones described in the literature (financing, communication and labor market, regulations), however, some Denmark-specific challenges were found as well, such as building the network from scratch. Last, as the original CAGE Distance framework’s determinants were not applicable from the perspective of the individual immigrant entrepreneur – new determinants for the unilateral analysis of the country’s distance were proposed based on the analysis of the challenges as well as the business traits of Danes. Nevertheless, further research is recommended with larger sample pool including also immigrant entrepreneurs located in other cities around Denmark, as there is still a deficit in the literature on that topic.

EducationsMSocSc in Organisational Innovation and Entrepreneurship , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages106