Immigrant entrepreneurship and diversification of immigration in French rural areas
While the settlement of immigrants in the large cities of Western countries is well known, a growing body of work also documents the increase of international migration in rural areas. Rural areas thus constitute New Immigrant Destinations – NIDs – (McAreavey, 2017) in several European countries, including France (Berthomière and al., 2021 ; Fromentin, 2021). Most often, two main types of migration have been put forward to explain these transformations : amenity migration – carried out in particular by retirees from developed countries looking for a better quality of life – and labour migration – performed by migrants from developing countries seeking job opportunities. In reality, rural areas are occupied by a much greater diversity of migrant profiles and backgrounds. This is particularly evident in the growing literature on immigrant entrepreneurship in European rural areas (Carson, Carson and Eimermann, 2018 ; Mendoza, Morén-Alegret and McAreavey, 2020). However, the French case is not studied in this literature, even though recent transformations in the legal framework for entrepreneurship encourage it. Indeed, the creation since 2009 of a new fiscal and social regime for self-employement (the auto- then micro-entrepreneur regime) has largely boosted the creation of individual businesses in France.
This communication proposes a quantitative analysis of immigrant entrepreneurship in French rural areas based on population census data. It will answer several questions, such as : in what fields is rural immigrant entrepreneurship developing ? Which immigrant profiles does it concern ? Which regions and types of spaces are most concerned ? In doing so, this communication finally studies the hypothesis of a distension between the places of salaried employement and the places of residence in in the trajectories of immigrants as an another explanatory factor for the emergence of rural areas as NIDs in France.
Keywords: immigrant entrepreneurship|rural areas|international migration|immigration|residential mobilities