Close community and family ties are an important means of raising finance and recruiting labour for entrepreneurs of first and second generation ethnic origin.
Minister for Small Business Gordon Hill said that although such networks were used more extensively by first generation migrants, they were also called on by second generation ones.
Mr Hill said an article in the Small Business in WA report said there were differences in attitude and expectation between first and second generation migrant small business owners.
Among them were that the second generation wanted a better quality of life with more leisure time.
Second generation entrepreneurs also often had access to further business opportunities through their bilingual and bicultural backgrounds.
Many were also better educated than their parents which gave them more market flexibility and better business skills, Mr Hill said.
The findings were contained in a study carried out by Nonja Peters, a PhD student at the University of Western Australia.
The study was based on 250 interviews with small business owners in Perth, as well as members of their families, community leaders and local bureaucracies.
Its aim was to explore the nature and extent of social and economic networks used by Dutch, Italian, Greek and Vietnamese proprietors.
The Small Business in WA report was produced by the Small Business Development Corporation.
Mr Hill said its contents covered business opportunities, retail shop lease legislation and the marketing practices of small firms.
Copies were available through subscription or by telephoning the corporation's research section on 220 0213.