Highly skilled migrant women entrepreneurs in the host country's entrepreneurial ecosystem

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, auditorium TA105

Topic of the dissertation

Highly skilled migrant women entrepreneurs in the host country's entrepreneurial ecosystem

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science Raushan Aman

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Oulu Business School, Martti Ahtisaari Institute

Subject of study

International Business


Professor Sierk Horn, Munich University of Applied Sciences


Professor Petri Ahokangas, Martti Ahtisaari Institute

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Highly skilled migrant women entrepreneurs in the host country's entrepreneurial ecosystem

The entrepreneurial ecosystem’s role in attracting, motivating, and retaining immigrant entrepreneurs to explore and exploit the opportunities in the host country is essential. Studies exploring the impact of the host country’s business environment and entrepreneurial ecosystem on immigrant entrepreneurs are still accumulating, with even less research on the role of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the development of distinctive types of entrepreneurs that combine multiple identity dimensions, such as migrant women entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, despite the increasing numbers of migrant women and female business owners, the current literature does not adequately address the significance of migrant women in global business and entrepreneurship. While studies related to migration and diaspora fervently discuss the topic of entrepreneurial capacity building, the idea of female entrepreneurial capability and the portrayal of highly skilled migrant women are still not thoroughly explored and can be misinterpreted.

Hence, addressing these knowledge deficits and concurrently considering both immigration and female entrepreneur perspectives, this research aims to gain a detailed understanding of migrant women’s entrepreneurship and to address the (immigrant) inclusivity and gender aspect in entrepreneurial ecosystems, while considering the disadvantages and entrepreneurial potential of highly skilled female migrants.

We thus explore how the entrepreneurial ecosystem influences female migrant-minority entrepreneurship, and how migrant women entrepreneurs contribute to the development and sustainability of entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The research questions are addressed using qualitative research methods, building on the data collected via semi-structured interviews, participant observations, and archival data. Theoretically, we contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem literature by exploring the role of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the underrepresented group of entrepreneurs that combines the two distinct features of a migrant and a woman.

Furthermore, we contribute to the literature on migrant women’s entrepreneurship by comprehensively analysing macro-level contextual factors (policy, markets, human capital, support systems, culture, and finance) that may enable or constrain female migrants’ entrepreneurial activities. In practical terms, we contribute to the United Nations’ sustainable development goals 4, 5, and 8 by addressing the gender and inclusivity aspects of entrepreneurial ecosystems and the accommodating context.
Last updated: 18.3.2024