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Vera Peshkova

Entrepreneurial Activity of Foreign Labor Migrants in Russia: Оn the Example of Kyrgyz Migrants in Moscow and the Moscow Region

2018. Vol. 19. No. 5. P. 11–40 [issue contents]

The article is on the entrepreneurial activity of foreign labor migrants in modern Russia in a case of Kyrgyz migrants in Moscow and the Moscow region. The study focuses on identifying entrepreneurial strategies of Kyrgyz migrants, which are formed as a result of the interaction of the structure of the host Russian society and some group characteristics. Conventionally, there are three stages in the development of entrepreneurship among Kyrgyz migrants: the 1990s through the early 2000s, the first half of the 2000s through the late 2000s, and the 2010s. Based on the analysis of the materials of 26 in-depth interviews with experts and entrepreneurs from Kyrgyzstan, an individual and group level of formation of entrepreneurial strategies was considered. At the individual level, most important are personal characteristics, age, satisfaction of the primary material tasks of the migrant’s family, and migration experience. A much more significant resource, especially at the initial stage, is not Russian citizenship but knowledge of the Russian language. At the group level, Kyrgyz migrant entrepreneurship is characterized by quantitative and qualitative accumulation of individual and group resources, entering the market through a free and, most importantly, accessible niche, and the transition from buying and selling to manufacturing.
Particular attention is paid to the place and role of kinship and compatriot connections of migrants from Kyrgyzstan, which form the basis of ethno-migrant social networks. These ties acquire an ethnic dimension, primarily because they are a key, if not the only, resource, especially at the initial stage of business creation. Attracting these connections forms the basis of an “ethnic” entrepreneurial strategy and often leads to the creation of a business oriented primarily on “our own” or a migrant-oriented infrastructure. At the same time, entrepreneurs of Kyrgyz origin are not a homogeneous group. Depending on the clients on which the business is focused on and on “ethnic” entrepreneurial strategy, business is allocated in a way that focuses on both “our own” and the rest of the population, as well as mainly on the entire population of Moscow and the region.

Citation: Peshkova V. (2018) Predprinimatel'skaya aktivnost' inostrannykh trudovykh migrantov v Rossii. Na primere kirgizskikh migrantov v Moskve i Moskovskoy oblasti [Entrepreneurial Activity of Foreign Labor Migrants in Russia: Оn the Example of Kyrgyz Migrants in Moscow and the Moscow Region]. Economic Sociology, vol. 19, no 5, pp. 11-40 (in Russian)
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