Aki Harima, MSc, University of Bremen, Chair in Small Business & Entrepreneurship (LEMEX), Wilhelm-Herbst-Str. 5, 28359 Bremen, Germany, tel.: (0421) 218 - 66 871,e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Abstract Entrepreneurial activities of the Diaspora attracted increased research attention in the recent years, as the phenomenon of migration is rapidly growing. The Diaspora refers to the migrants and their descendants who maintain a strong relationship with their country of origin (Safran, 1991). The previous research has, however, predominantly focused on diaspora entrepreneurs from developing or emerging economies and those who originate from developed countries are almost invisible, even though they are empirically observable (cf. Elo, 2013; Horiuchi, 2010). In fact, their entrepreneurial activities have mostly been neglected by previous research in diaspora as well as international entrepreneurship. This study coins a new concept ‘Descending diaspora entrepreneurs’ for the entrepreneurs from developed countries who migrate to less developed ones and explores their entrepreneurial activities through the network perspective. The literature review on entrepreneurial networks as well as diaspora networks identifies three potentially significant benefits of networks on entrepreneurial activities: (i) opportunity recognition, (ii) access to resources and (iii) motivation sustainment. Explorative multiple case studies with Japanese diaspora entrepreneurs in emerging economies (Philippine, Guatemala and Argentina) were conducted and the empirical findings were descriptively analyzed in line with the identified network benefits. Finally, the model of network dynamics for Descending Diaspora Entrepreneurs is developed based on the findings.

Keywords: Diaspora Entrepreneurship, Japanese Diaspora, Entrepreneurial Networks, Diaspora Networks, Emerging Economies, Transnational Entrepreneurial Networks.