Entrepreneurship and Circular Migration: A Brief Background
Migrants and diaspora have a long history of starting successful businesses. It is estimated that 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 2010 were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Promoting migrant entrepreneurship provides a clear opportunity for the private sector to engage with government on migration in a constructive and non-controversial manner, to enhance benefits for the national economies of host and origin countries, as well as for migrants themselves.
Why the Private Sector should be Engaged
- The private sector is well placed to provide insights into how to turn entrepreneurial aspirations to business realities.
- In those countries that have proved most successful in attracting immigrant entrepreneurs, such as Australia, New Zealand, and the US, governments have consulted closely with the private sector to develop appropriate policy settings.
- The private sector may contribute directly to promoting the benefits of migrant entrepreneurship, for example by providing training for low and semi-skilled migrants in their employment; exploring linkages between online work, virtual migration and circular migration, etc.
Recommendations from the Private Sector
- Urge governments lead by example by appointing institutional entrepreneurs.
- Improve remittance services through reducing costs, linking remittances to an array of needed financial services (e.g. payments, savings, insurance, credit).
- Broaden eligibility thresholds for venture capital investment; creating easy pathways to entrepreneurship; increasing the number of visas, etc.
- Promote government-private sector dialogue on these and other solutions at the Global Forum on Migration and Development and through the consultations on the GCM.
- Provide training for low and semi-skilled migrants in their employment; exploring linkages between online work, virtual migration and circular migration; developing innovative financing mechanisms for supporting the skills base in countries from which skilled migrants are hired; and incentivizing diaspora direct investment (DDI).