Migration and Integration Workship

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


Migrant resources and entrepreneurship - Empowering transnational capacity building
Keynote speaker
Migrants constitute an important economic actor, not only as consumers but as entrepreneurs, innovators and talented employees. The triangular human talent flow and the talent diversity that migration creates may contribute to economic development and business in home and host country, but also in a broader context in multifaceted manners. In business, migrants are spreading ideas, products, services and capitals spanning national borders and constructing transnational activity-scapes and transnational entrepreneurial ecosystems. The bridges that migrants build empower transnational business engagement on both sides, for example, transnational diaspora entrepreneurs may foster internationalization of products and firms and diffuse innovation as well as best practices and knowledge. Migrants tend to be resilient entrepreneurs in international business, they establish businesses also in demanding contexts and under great uncertainties. Sharing the benefits of migration is particularly important for reducing economic inequality, fostering entrepreneurial opportunities and creating decent work. Migration is governed through various policies and agreements, but if these are not well designed and aligned with economic and social policies in a sustainable way they can even create contra-productive bottlenecks and impediments for migrant resource employment. For example, many highly skilled migrant women face challenges related to brain waste, vulnerable migrants are often pushed towards irregular business and even developed host countries ignore abuse of migrant labor force. Such problems hinder the promise of migration and the respective capacity building; they waste resources, create tensions and contest the legitimacy of migration. Empowering transnational capacity building suggests that all stakeholders need to be informed and educated about the challenges and resources, often referred to as untapped resources, in order to create fair participation and enable locally suitable economic development. Unfortunately, discussions on global migration, local entrepreneurship and national competitiveness tend to remain disconnected and away from teaching curricula. Hence, one could ask, should we start tackling these issues already in the education and co-develop new sustainable lenses and approaches to migrant resource allocation that empowers local and foreign business to contribute to the SDGs? Global entrepreneurship and international business management related education programs, for example, could take the challenge and include the young generations in re-thinking and shaping capacity building and developing sustainable solutions.

Bio: Maria Elo, associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark, is also a professor at the Belt and Road Institute of International Business at Shanghai University, an adjunct professor at Åbo Akademi University and a Migration Fellow at Migration Institute of Finland. She works in the area of international business, -entrepreneurship and -migration with focus on brain circulation, resources of skilled migrants and returnees, migrant and diaspora entrepreneurship, transnational and family businesses, diaspora networks in international business, diaspora investment and remittances. She has edited books, such as Diaspora Business, Diaspora Networks in International Business and Global Mobility of Highly skilled People, and published articles, for example, in Journal of International Business Policy, Journal of International Management, Industrial Marketing Management, Regional Studies, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, and International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business.
Period29. Apr 2021
Held atCentre for International Business Strategy and Decisions CIBSD, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational