This article studies the driving forces for successful migrant entrepreneurship in Amsterdam. Three categories of migrants are investigated: Moroccans, Surinamese and Turks. Particular attention is paid to their personal and business characteristics. An extensive field survey was undertaken to identify the main background factors which influence the success or failure of migrant entrepreneurs. It turns out that personality, work discipline and business ambition are the critical success factors for a good business performance on the part of migrant entrepreneurs. Contrary to our assumption, migrant networks and support systems have no positive or negative influence on business performance. © 2009 Interdisciplinary Centre for Comparative Research in the Social Sciences and ICCR Foundation.