Diaspora entrepreneurs’ push and pull institutional factors for investing in Africa: Insights from African returnees from the United Kingdom

Frank Nyame-Asiamah, Isaac Oduro Amoako, Joseph Amankwaah-Amoah, Yaw Debrah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
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Applying the institution-based views, this article conceptualises how diaspora entrepreneurs take stimuli from the push and pull institutional factors to develop business enterprises in their countries of origin. Using cases of African diaspora entrepreneurs in the UK and the grounded theory methodological approach, our conceptualised model demonstrates that the diasporas use the new knowledge, skills and wealth they have gained in the UK in tandem with support from trusted family, kinship and business ties at home to develop enterprises. It further demonstrates that diaspora entrepreneurs foster resilience to withstand weak formal institutions in theircountries of origin and the discriminatory obstacles in the UK. We also found that institutional barriers which served as push factors that encouraged or forced migrants to leave their home countries to seek greener pastures abroad may later become pull factors that enable them to engage in diaspora entrepreneurship which is oftencharacterised by paradoxes. Particularly, the informal institutions that constrain foreign investors can become assets for African diaspora entrepreneurs and help them set up new businesses and exploit market opportunities in Africa. The implications of the study for diaspora entrepreneurship literature are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Article number119876
Number of pages16
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Technological Forecasting and Social Change. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 152, (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119876


  • Diaspora Entrepreneurship, Institutional Theory, Africa, Change agents, push and pull factors
  • Push and Pull factors
  • Institutional theory
  • African diaspora
  • entrepreneurs


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