In recent years, entrepreneurship among migrant minorities has increased significantly in the Netherlands. This paper addresses the key factors determining the economic position of migrant entrepreneurs in the urban economy in the Netherlands, with an application to Amsterdam. So far, little information on success conditions for migrant entrepreneurship is available, while quantitative knowledge on critical success factors (CSFs) is lagging far behind the rapid growth of migrant entrepreneurs in big cities like Amsterdam. The present study serves to fill this knowledge gap, by paying attention to the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants, the role of their social networks, and the innovative potential of new growth markets in a modern city. In order to provide a solid assessment of CSFs for migrant entrepreneurs, and to understand business performance in a competitive urban environment, this study will investigate the entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants in Dutch cities from a micro-economic perspective. Due insight into individual entrepreneurial behaviour of migrants is needed to develop an urban business culture in which migrants are no longer a source of problems but of great socio-economic opportunities, both for the migrant groups concerned and the vitality of cities. Our research employs a comparative statistical analysis of empirical findings in the city of Amsterdam in order to map out opportunities, success conditions and bottlenecks for migrant entrepreneurs. Given our largely categorical (i.e. qualitative or soft) database, we will employ a qualitative causal pattern recognition technique, namely, rough set analysis, to systematically assess the conditions for successful entrepreneurship of migrants. © 2009 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG.