Purpose – This paper aims to review the concept of clustering and to examine both mature and newly evolved natural ethnic entrepreneurial business clusters in Melbourne, Australia. Design/methodology/approach – Phenomenological methodology was employed in this research. This qualitative research technique examines life experiences in an effort to understand and give them meaning. This method is seen to be appropriate as the study is investigative and explores the historical development, maintenance and growth of ethnic entrepreneurship clusters. Findings – Box Hill has evolved into a second Chinatown in Melbourne through natural ethnic entrepreneurial business cluster. The key features of these entrepreneurs are high educational and professional competence; focus on hard work and persistence; independence and sense of freedom as the key driving force; maintaining cultural linkage with countries of origin; almost no assistance from government agencies; succession or exit is not a major issue; and strong belief in providing employment and making a contribution to society. Practical implications – The ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs in Box Hill as well as in CBD Melbourne's Chinatown and the Chinese community at large realize that they needed to be socially participative and politically active. Through active participation in local politics, the ethnic community members are able to improve and provide more services and facilities to the community. As a result, the cluster becomes bigger and serves better the social needs of the community members, ethnic as well as non‐ethnic group members. Originality/value – There is a paucity of literature on ethnic entrepreneurial business clusters that seem to be a growing feature of many cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver, Los Angeles and other cities in the western hemisphere. This paper investigates this phenomenon in Melbourne.
Journal of Asia Business Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 18, 2011
Keywords: Australia; Ethnic groups; Immigrants; Entrepreneurialism