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Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship in Sweden: A qualitative study of African diaspora entrepreneurs in Sweden

Evansluong, Quang



1. Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship
Migration has become a significant phenomenon in the modern world. Globalization and the development of transportation and communication have fostered the movement of people around the world at greater pace. According to International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2010, 214 million people, which accounts for 3.1 percent of the world population, were living outside their home countries.
Immigrant or diaspora or ethnic entrepreneurship is one of the outcomes of migration. Diaspora entrepreneurship researches have been intensively conducted in different parts of the world: America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In the past, researches in this field investigated entrepreneurial activities of migrants only in either their home countries or their host countries.
Nowadays, globalization has fostered immigrant entrepreneurs to engage in entrepreneurial activities in both their home and host countries. Those individuals migrating from one country to another engage in and maintain business activities with their home countries and host countries are classified as transnational entrepreneurs or transnational diaspora entrepreneurs (Drori et al., 2009; Riddle et al., 2010).
Researches in transnational entrepreneurship field has been assessed and investigated the transnational realm within the contexts of social structure, institutions, cultures, social networks, motivations, opportunity exploitations and accessibility to resources in either host countries or home countries (Portes et al. 2002; Vertovec, 2004; Drori et al., 2009).
Very little research has been done on the relationships between those aforementioned contexts under the circumstance of transnational corridors taking both home and host countries into account at the same time. Research conducted in immigrant entrepreneurship shows that there exist relationships between social networking, trust building and business opportunities, business role models or business supports and raising finance (Fadahunsi, 2000; Ram, 1994).
Transnational entrepreneurship is a further development of immigrant entrepreneurship but more complex in a sense that it involves the dual embedded settings of home and host countries. Thus, it would be fruitful to investigate: the relationship between social networks of home and host countries and the business opportunity recognition and exploitation process; the relationship between transnational business role models in diaspora communities and the types of transnational diaspora enterprises; the relationship between trust building (of diaspora towards home and host countries) and the opportunity to find financial support for transnational diaspora businesses.
2. Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship in Sweden
This study aims to explore West African transnational diaspora entrepreneurs in Sweden following reasons:
The immigrant population in Sweden has been increased significantly during the last few decades due to the need of extra labor for Swedish market in 70s, second wave of immigrants from family ties during 80s and 90s, refugees, and now again due to the need of extra labor in specific professions.
The research field of diaspora entrepreneurship has not been well-developed in Sweden. Academic researchers, now, call for more research attention in this field (Slavonic, 2004). Certain number of research has been done among Eastern European, South East Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern diaspora entrepreneurs in Sweden (Khosravi, 1995; Khosravi, 2001; Najib, 1992; Najib, 1999; Pripp, 2001; Rojas, 1993). However, very little has been done on Africa diaspora entrepreneurs, especially West African entrepreneurs in Sweden.
Expected contribution to the field
The outcome of this study will contribute to transnational diaspora entrepreneurship research in Sweden, especially on West Africa diaspora entrepreneur community. Specifically the results of the study might fill in the research gap of exploring relationships between the relationship between social networks and opportunity recognition and exploitation process; relationship between role models of businesses in diaspora communities and the types and patters of diaspora enterprises; the relationship between trust building and financial supports. Last but not least, part of the results may suggest some possible solutions to business development and mentoring program supporting transnational diaspora businesses in Sweden.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Start Date Nov 16, 2011
Publication Date Nov 16, 2011
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
APA6 Citation Evansluong, Q. (2011, November). Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship in Sweden: A qualitative study of African diaspora entrepreneurs in Sweden. Paper presented at RENT XXV - RESEARCH IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SMALL BUSINESS - 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE
Keywords transnational diaspora, immigrants, Sweden, Africa, entrepreneurs
Additional Information Title of Conference or Conference Proceedings : RENT XXV, Bodø, November 16-18, 2011