Publication Type:

Journal Article


Small Business Economics, Volume 48, Number 3, p.577–597 (2017)



The vast majority of the literature on ethnicity and entrepreneurship focuses on the construct of ethnic entrepreneurship. However, very little is known about how ethnic heterogeneity affects entrepreneurship, and the institutional arrangements affecting entrepreneurship. This study attempts to fill the gap, and thus examines the effect of ethnic heterogeneity on various outcomes associated with entrepreneurship and the institutional environment for entrepreneurship. Using indices of ethnic and linguistic fractionalization, we show that ethnic heterogeneity negatively influences entrepreneurship. We argue that potential channels that can explain the negative effect of fractionalization on entrepreneurship include trust, social network, and innovation, among others. This study provides a new perspective on the existing debate that seeks to understand why the levels of entrepreneurial success vary across countries.

Cite this Research Publication

Sefa Awaworyi Churchill, “Fractionalization, entrepreneurship, and the institutional environment for entrepreneurship”, Small Business Economics, vol. 48, pp. 577–597, 2017.