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Making Their Way in the Mainstream: Indigenous Entrepreneurs, Social Capital and Performance in Toronto’s Marketplace

For ethnic entrepreneurs, it is vitally important to be able to move fluidly through boundaries between ethno-racial groups. Social activities on both sides of a boundary increase access to opportunities, needed resources and advantageous contacts in mainstream marketplaces. In Canada, men of European descent disproportionately hold positions of advantage and authority in mainstream marketplaces. Entrepreneurs wishing to do business in these markets must foster ties with well placed European Canadians, yet research shows that ethnic minorities are typically shut out of these important and advantageous networks. Through three publishable papers, this dissertation considers the unique case and place of Indigenous entrepreneurs in Toronto, Canada. They are a population discriminated against for centuries, while at the same time a fundamental part of the creation of Canadian society. This dissertation asks whether and how Indigenous entrepreneurs can move effectively across ethnic boundaries and participate in multiple groups and settings.
More specifically, these three papers explore the factors and macro social structures that contribute to the development of diverse networks and cultural capital within Indigenous and Euro-Canadian worlds, and the effects of social and cultural capitals on performance in Toronto's mainstream marketplace. While current theory explores the ability of some individuals to move between groups and across boundaries, research does not exist to test these assertions. This dissertation provides then, an initial case study of boundary spanning behaviour and the first effort at exploring Indigenous entrepreneurs in that role. Findings do indeed show that respondents instrumentally develop and maintain diverse cultural and social capital. Further, some forms of social capital contribute substantially to successful performance in Toronto's mainstream marketplace.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:LACETR/oai:collectionscanada.gc.ca:OTU.1807/29691
Date30 August 2011
CreatorsCôté, Rochelle R.
ContributorsErickson, Bonnie
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Languageen_ca
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis

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