Work Package 3: Methodology for Transnational Diaspora Entrepreneurship (TDE) monitoring

This work package is led by Rolf Sternberg, Head of the Department of Economic and Cultural Geography at the Leibniz University of Hannover (LUH) in Germany. The overall goal of this work package is to establish a methodology for evaluating and monitoring entrepreneurship in migration corridors.

We plan to generate a mix of quantitative cross-sectional data (based upon Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Annual Adult Population survey 2016) and qualitative case-study data from various countries and/or migration corridors.

In the qualitative part we plan to focus on a small number of transnational entrepreneurs in selected countries, sub-national regions, cities or quarters of cities, where entrepreneurship is a frequent economic behaviour of in-migrated inhabitants. The migrant entrepreneurs themselves, but also related organisations and representatives of the entrepreneurship or migrant support infrastructure are potential candidates for qualitative interviews the aim of which is to get an impression how these entrepreneurial activities could be monitored and evaluated. We will do so by using adequate techniques of qualitative empirical social research.

In the quantitative part we intend to use the huge potential of the GEM, the world’s largest empirical study of entrepreneurship. First, we will try to convince several GEM team leaders that they include new and additional questions in the 2016 GEM adult population survey. These questions will cover some aspects of transnational entrepreneurship, i.e. return migrants and their entrepreneurial activities in their host country and/or in their home country. While such an attempt is surely not an option for each of the about 75 GEM countries, it is an opportunity for those countries where in- and/or outmigration has been a relevant phenomenon in the past over a sufficiently long period. Just to mention a few of them: New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Ireland, Germany, the UK, the U.S. and, more recently some Southern European countries. Second, we plan to ask GEM partners to include some questions in the annual National Expert Survey specifically about the existence of policies aimed at encouraging or discouraging transnational entrepreneurs, and/or ask them for examples of specific policies.

The planned research has substantial potential for policy implications. While several countries develop policy measures to bring formerly out-migrated citizens back (like Portugal) and help them to start a firm, others more or less directly try to convince (some) in-migrants to return to their home countries. More empirical knowledge about the extent, the motivation for and the economic and social implications of entrepreneurship among migrants and return migrants may help to develop more evidence-based government policies both in sending countries and receiving countries.

This WP will profit from intellectual input from nine of the DiasporaLink institutions and participants. Beside Rolf Sternberg from Hanover as the responsible researcher for this working package (with an input of six personal months) Jonathan Levie (Strathclyde), Thomas Schøtt (University of Southern Denmark), both with 6 personal months each, as well as José Ernesto Amorós (Santiago de Chile, four personal months) are important researchers in this package as they have the necessary methodological competence to contribute to the tasks described above. They are also members of the GEM Consortium (or even of the GEM Board) and do thus have an intimate knowledge about the methodological aspects of this very ambitious attempt to count and empirically assess entrepreneurial activities across the globe. Furthermore David Kirby (British University in Egypt, 4 months), Alejandro Portes (Princeton University),  Ivan Light (University of California at Los Angeles) and Frederic F. Wherry (Yale University), 1 personal months each, are involved.

This working package has several tasks. Among them is the incorporation of the results with a summary of research needs for entrepreneurship in relation to migration corridors, based on current literature. We also intend to establish synergies with GEM Research project and identify specific data related to migrant entrepreneurs in order to obtain line-base primary data. Furthermore we will explore sources of data regarding diaspora entrepreneurs, including traditional sources such as household surveys as well as non-traditional ones such as consulates, chambers of commerce and NGO’s. It also belongs to our tasks to define research strategies in terms of methodologies to be used (quantitative, qualitative) and specific details about the instruments to be applied in each context. In doing so we consider outcomes as well as motivational factors and behavioral patterns for migrant entrepreneurs. Finally, we will propose a continuing methodological program for home and host countries of migrant entrepreneurs, to be developed by partner research institutions, detailing activities to be undertaken.

The tasks of this Working Package should we reached with the inputs to be derived from 12 secondments. In each of these secondments the Leibniz University of Hanover and/or University of Santiago de Chile are involved.