56 / 2022
Yulia Kryvenko

Book Review - Elena Sommer, Social Capital as a Resource for Migrant Entrepreneurship: Self-Employed Migrants from the Former Soviet Union in Germany Munich: Springer VS, 2020, 331 pp.

According to the author, this book aims to explore the accessibility and use of social capital within and outside the migrant community from the former Soviet Union (FSU) for migrant enterprises that operate in various markets over time. Elena Sommer’s book aims to shed light on a phenomenon that has spawned an international lexicon of words and phrases that include “ethnic entrepreneurship,” “ethnic business,” or “ethnic economy,” “middleman minority,” “sojourners,” “transculturality,” “orthodox ethnicity,” and “reactive ethnicity.” In her exploratory research, based on evidence from 62 qualitative interviews, Sommer examines the usage of social capital for entrepreneurial practices of self-employed migrants from the former Soviet Union in Germany. The study resulted from the author’s doctoral research at Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS). It was designed to show how business-related social relationships are influenced by a company’s marketing policy and access to specific entrepreneurial social networks. The author investigates the types of relationship networks migrants use as a platform for creating and growing small enterprises and how migrants’ entrepreneurial social networks evolve.