The role of marketing agility and risk propensity in resilience and survival of eastern European immigrant entrepreneurs in Denmark

DEBORAH CALLAGHAN, Ismail Golgeci, Ahmad Arslan *, Veronika Kentosova, Vijay Pereira

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose – While extant research has increasingly examined minority entrepreneurs, less attention has been paid to Eastern European immigrant entrepreneurs and the role that marketing agility and risk propensity play
in their resilience and survival in Nordic countries. This paper aims to highlight the importance of these factors for Eastern European immigrant entrepreneurs in the developed Nordic economy of Denmark.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper adopts the dynamic capabilities view as a theoretical framework and uses a qualitative research approach with interviews as the main data collection method. The empirical sample comprises 12 entrepreneurs originating from Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and
Romania, who operate in Denmark.
Findings – The findings show that contrary to prior studies that have highlighted a reliance among the migrant entrepreneurial community on ethnic networks as their dominant target market, Eastern European immigrant entrepreneurs located in Denmark, in contrast, focused on attracting Danish consumers as their
target market audience. Leveraging multiple networks was therefore found to be critical to the survival of these immigrant ventures. Additionally, the entrepreneurs’ marketing agility, underpinned by their optimistic approach, growth ambitions and passion for entrepreneurship, was found to play a pivotal role in their survival. Finally, despite the stable institutional environment in Denmark and the ease of doing business (both of which are influential factors in shaping the risk propensity and risk perception of entrepreneurs), the authors
found immigrant entrepreneurs’ risk propensity to be rather low, which was contrary to the expectations.
Originality/value –The current paper is one of the first studies that explicitly analyzes the roles of marketing agility and risk propensity in the resilience and survival of the ventures of relatively skilled immigrant entrepreneurs from Eastern Europe in a developed Nordic economy (Denmark). The paper’s findings also challenge the notion associated with immigrant entrepreneurial ventures being primarily focused on ethnic customers or enclaves. The paper also specifies the peculiarities of marketing agility in immigrant entrepreneurial contexts and solidifies the importance of diverse networks in immigrant business survival and development.
Keywords Denmark, Eastern Europe, Immigrant entrepreneurs, Dynamic capabilities, Marketing agility, Survival
Paper type Research paper
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2023


  • Denmark
  • Eastern Europe
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Marketing agility
  • Survival


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