Migrant Entrepreneurship: Mapping Cross-Border Mobilities and Exploring the Role of Spatial Mobility Capital
Project responsable Yvonne Riaño
Etienne Piguet
Team member Christina Mittmasser
Yvonne Riaño

Laure Sandoz
Abstract Social and technological transformations, including highly diversified migrant populations and facilitated international travel and communication, have intensified the phenomenon of cross-border migrant entrepreneurship. This involves migrants physically moving themselves across local and transnational borders for business opportunities, as well as migrants running transnational businessesfrom their places of residence. This project will map the diverse cross-border mobilities of first generation migrant entrepreneurs and examine whether spatial mobility constitutes an asset or not for migrant entrepreneurship, and under what conditions. It uses mixed methods and includes case studies from Switzerland, Spain and South America. The main research questions are: (a) What types of capacities for spatial mobility exist among migrant entrepreneurs, and why do such differences exist? (b) To what extent does the capacity of spatial mobility constitute an asset for migrant entrepreneurship and the livelihoods of migrants, and under what conditions can it be transformed into social and economic capital? Studying cross-border migrant entrepreneurship offers a unique opportunity to understand the shift from long-term and permanent migration to increasingly more temporary and fluid mobilities, thus advancing our empirical and theoretical understanding of the Migration-Mobility Nexus.
Keywords Migrant entrepreneurship
Type of project Research mandate
Research area Géographie
Method of financing Fonds national suisse de la recherche scientifique, NCCR - on the move
Status Ongoing
Start of project 11-2018
End of project 10-2022
Contact Danielle Tchakounte