Diversity dividends were investigated in Rotterdam’s Fieldwork Entrepreneurs report in relation to how entrepreneurs profit in heterogeneous markets.
The Rotterdam team examined the extent to which entrepreneurs profit from local diversity, and whether or not it presents challenges and what they may be. The findings from the Feijenoord research area show that entrepreneurs who have a clearly defined and diverse local clientele do profit from the diversity of the district. Those entrepreneurs with multiple customer bases with their businesses in the neighbourhood were generally more resilient to economic fluctuations, as were those who constantly assessed the factors contributing to the success, both positively and negatively, and responded accordingly in an effort to stem off failure. The following quote illustrates how business broadened their horizons in an effort to profit from diversity dividends:
“We were trying to survive. When there were no vacancies, we tried to broaden our view, take anything we can get. We started to look at vacancies in the technological sector, change our strategies, started offering businesses advice. We needed to broaden our view, because when there are no vacancies, you still need turnover, to fulfil your obligations. We needed to pay our staff, pay rent, those things.”
The research also revealed that these entrepreneurs were from a range of ethnic backgrounds, ran small to medium-sized businesses and worked across a diverse array of economic sectors.
Download the Rotterdam Fieldwork Entrepreneurs report to learn more about the experiences of entrepreneurs in the city. You can also find all of our Work Package 7: Fieldwork Entrepreneur reports from each of our fourteen case studies on our website.
Image: Melissa Lee