The present paper aims to investigate and compare various modalities of migrant entrepreneurship in European countries in order to design a systematic classification of migrant entrepreneurship and to highlight key factors of migrant entrepreneurship in Europe. The paper is based on a comparative assessment of available quantitative data and qualitative information derived from a broad review of findings from previous studies in the literature. Our quantitative evaluation includes the European OECD countries, while our qualitative investigation addresses migrant entrepreneurship experiences in eight European countries: Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK. The results of our comparative analysis show that the general picture of European migrant entrepreneurship is determined by some distinct push factors such as high unemployment rates and low participation rates or low status in the labour market as well as by an accompanying factor, namely mixed embeddedness. The results of our comparative evaluation are summarized in a systematic typological table. These show that, while an informal and labour-intensive sector, an underground economy, and small companies and traditional households prompt migrant entrepreneurship in Southern European countries, an over-representation of non-Western immigrants among the self-employed, as well as relatively lower income levels of self-employed immigrants compared to both self-employed natives and employed immigrants are decisive for migrant entrepreneurship in Northern European countries. © 2009 Taylor & Francis.