The Chinese are taking over: Chinese small entrepreneurs in the Cayo District of Belize

Carel Roessingh, David Passenier, Niek Vermeulen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The transnational entrepreneurship debate discusses the economic and entrepreneurial consequences of transnational relations and trade for ethnic entrepreneurs. The multi-ethnic society of Belize is an example where transnationalism is an important factor because of its implications for the history, roots, and future of ethnic entrepreneurs. Our case study of ethnically Chinese entrepreneurs points to the shadow of ethnic entrepreneurship that is in danger of being forgotten in the more business and politically oriented discussions about transnationalism. In a national context, where a discourse of Chinese transnational influence has developed, locally-based ethnically Chinese entrepreneurs appear to be subject to stereotyping and stigmatisation. Chinese entrepreneurs’ real embedding in transnational networks may be unclear and may be easy targets for gossip and unwarranted generalisation. We thus argue that the investigating a local, rural context may reveal the ambiguous social consequences of economic prosperity brought about by transnationalism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-249
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Issue number1/2
Early online date24 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Belize, Chinese, transnationalism, ethnic entrepreneurship
  • Transnationalism
  • Chinese
  • Belize
  • Ethnic entrepreneurship


Dive into the research topics of 'The Chinese are taking over: Chinese small entrepreneurs in the Cayo District of Belize'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this