Fragmented networks and transnational entrepreneurship: Building strategies to prosper in challenging surroundings
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Transnational entrepreneurship studies highlight the importance of personal profiles, institutions, and networks in creating and succeeding in this type of entrepreneurship. Even so, less is known about migrants whose networks are fragmented and closed, facing challenging environments at home and abroad. This paper aims to study the attributes of transnational entrepreneurs with small and fragmented networks, from post-conflict environments, who can perform an important role in the socioeconomic development and internationalization level of their countries of origin due to the cross border mobilization of resources they encourage. For that reason, the specific case of Colombian transnational entrepreneurs who have been able to overcome those obstacles with their transnational business is analyzed with the intention of understanding how they manage those shortcomings when engaging in transnational entrepreneurship. In aiming to obtain a deeper understanding of their characteristics, similitudes, differences, and motivations, the research uses multiple case studies. The main findings suggest that transnational entrepreneurs form purposeful–strategic networks to compensate their lack of amalgamated social systems, and that they have special qualities that distinguish them from other Colombian migrants and transnational entrepreneurs. Moreover, Colombian transnational entrepreneurs focus their business in the international market, using strategically their knowledge of both the local and foreign environment, while their main interest to do so is not altruistic but business oriented. Governments from post-conflict countries should promote transnational entrepreneurship while facilitating network formation and institutional trust through diverse strategies. Finally, implications for further research are drawn. © 2017, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.
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