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Fragmented networks and transnational entrepreneurship: Building strategies to prosper in challenging surroundings

Sandra Milena Santamaria-Alvarez
Published on
24 May 2018

Sandra Milena Santamaria-Alvarez (DBA graduate 2014) wanted to research and publish on topics that can have an impact in both academia and society. She focused on migrants and their transnational activities that create positive outcomes for the migrants, their families, and the societies of both the country of origin and the destination country. With this research, she could continue to work on topics related to her DBA thesis.

Transnational Entrepreneurship, or the entrepreneurial ventures created by international migrants that connect their home country with at least his/her country of residence, is a different kind of entrepreneurship. Usually, this business creation uses the connections and networks those migrants have, thanks to their international experience and exposition.

Having knowledge of at least two different countries provides migrants with special circumstances that allow them to take the best of both environments to create new businesses whose market is not their ethnic enclave and where the migrant does not have the necessity to return home to involve his/her country of origin in the business development. Nonetheless, through those transnational migrant businesses, migrants support the socio-economic development of their home countries while creating businesses in the place of residence of the migrant.

However, in the Colombian case, even if migrants do not have connected and strong networks, they are coping with this and other environmental shortages to develop transnational entrepreneurial businesses. With this in mind, the paper analyzes this case to determine how Colombian Transnational entrepreneurs cope with their challenging surroundings at home and abroad to develop their businesses. In this case, Colombian migrants generate purposeful strategic networks to compensate for their lack of amalgamated social systems and develop special qualities that distinguish them from other Colombian migrants and transnational entrepreneurs.

Colombia is a post-conflict developing country; therefore, this type of entrepreneurship becomes an important source of research interest, given it possibilities to support local development. This type of entrepreneurship can provide new opportunities for local and national socioeconomic development at home and abroad, a topic of real importance for this and other countries who are senders or receptors of migrants.

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