Diaspora Marketing Revisited: The nexus of entrepreneurs and consumers





Low-skilled migrants, Austria and California, refugees, integration policy


In this article, we discuss the role of diaspora as a business network and an opportunity window for foreign market entry following the concept of diaspora market entry or transnational market entry mode. As sources of information on both home and host countries, diasporas offer opportunities and enable entrepreneurs and thus serve as a significant social capital resource for foreign investors. For willing or the reluctant, investors may find an easy way to enter mature markets and thus internationalise at relative ease by the facilitating effect of diaspora presence in a target market. Diasporas, among their many characteristics, also known for growing a longing for what is “home” or “homeland”. Thus there emerges demand for those products and services they used to consume prior to migration abroad (i.e. nostalgic consumption). It takes place at a crossroads of passion for national identity and nostalgic consumption. For diaspora entrepreneurs, the social capital they have means business to satisfy the “nostalgia” demand as well as expanding markets for brands from their countries of origin.

Author Biography

Ibrahim Sirkeci, Regent's University London, Centre for Transnational Business and Management

Ibrahim Sirkeci is Professor of Transnational Studies & Marketing and Director of Centre for Transnational Business and Management at Regent’s University London. Ibrahim Sirkeci received his PhD in Geography in 2003 from the University of Sheffield. He is also a graduate of Bilkent University and Institute of Education (University College London). Before joining Regent's University London in 2005, Prof Sirkeci worked at the University of Bristol and Atilim University.


Aldrich, H., Rosen, B., & Woodward, W. (1987). “The impact of social networks on business foundings and profit: A longitudinal study”. In: N. S. Churchill, J. A. Hornaday, B. A. Kerchhoff, O. J. Kranser, and K. H. Vesper (eds.), Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Babson Park: Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Aldrich, H. (1999). Organizations evolving, London: Sage.

Aldrich, H. and Zimmer, C. (1986). “Entrepreneurship through social networks.” In: D. Sexton and R. Smiler (eds.), The Art and Science of Entrepreneurship: 3-23. New York: Ballinger.

Aliaga-Isla, R. and Rialp, A. (2012). “How do information and experience play a role in the discovery of entrepreneurial opportunities? The case of Latin-American immigrants in Barcelona”, Latin American Business Review, 13(1): 59-80.

Atsan, N. (2017). “Etnik Girişimlerin Doğuşu ve Gelişiminde Sosyal Ağların Rolü: Almanya’da Türk Girişimciler Örneği”, Aksaray Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 9(2): 1-16.

Barakji, A and Mazen, Kalssli, M. (2017). Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Sweden: A Study on Obstacles and Strategies of Arab Immigrant Entrepreneurs. Master’s in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, New Venture Creation Track, Lund University, http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=8914040&fileOId=8914067.

Berry, J. W. (1997). “Immigration, acculturation and adaptation”. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 46, 5-61.

Berry, J. W. (2003). “Conceptual approaches to acculturation.” In: K. M. Chun, P. B. Organista and G. Marín (Eds.), Acculturation: Advances in theory, measurement and applied research, pp. 17–37, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Bhat and Narayan (2010). “Indian Diaspora, Globalization and Transnational Networks: The South African Context”, Journal of Social Science, 25: 1-3.

Bolino, M., Turnley, W., and Bloodgood, J. (2002). “Citizenship behavior and the creation of social capital in organizations”, Academy of Management Review, 27(4): 505–522.

Bourdieu, P. and Wacquant, L. (1992). An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Brubaker, R. (2005). “The ‘diaspora’ diaspora”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28:1.

Brüderl, J. and Preisendörfer, P. (1998). “Network support and the success of newly founded businesses”, Small Business Economics, 10: 213–225.

Burt, R. S. (1992). “The social structure of competition.” In: N. Nohria and R. G. Eccles (Eds.), Networks and organizations: Structure form and action, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Carling, J. (2017) “Visualizing the transnational connections of China’s most African neighbourhood”, Environment and Planning A 49(6): 1209–1213.

Cabassa L.J. (2003). “Measuring acculturation: Where we are and where we need to go”. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 25:127–146.

Chand, M. (2010). “Diasporas as drivers of national competitiveness”. In: Devinney, T.M., Pedersen, T. and Tihanyi, L. (eds), Advances in International Management: The Past, Present and Future of International Business and Management, Emerald, New York, 23: 583-602.

Chand, M. (2012). "Diasporas, migration, and trade: the Indian diaspora in North America", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, 6(4): 383 – 396.

Chand, M. and Tung, R. L. (2011). “Global competitiveness, consumer choice and ‘country of origin’ effect: an exploratory East–West study”, Journal Asia Pacific Business Review, 17(3).

Clifford, J. (1994). Diasporas, Cultural Anthropology, 9(3): 302-338

Cohen, J. and Sirkeci, I. (2011). Cultures of Migration: The Global Nature of Contemporary Movement. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Cohen, R. (1996). “Diasporas and the nation-state, From Victims to Challengers”, International Affairs, 72(3): 507–520.

Cohen, R. (2008). Global diasporas: An introduction (2nd ed.), London: Routledge.

Chrysostome, E. (2010). “The success factors of necessity immigrant entrepreneurs: In search of a model”, Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2): 137-152.

David, L. (2009). Another Link in the Chain: Migrant Networks and International Investment. Presentation at the World Bank Conference on Diaspora and Development in Washington, DC. http://siteresources.worldbank.org/.

Davidsson, P. and Honig, B. (2003). ”The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs”, Journal of Business Venturing 18(3), 301-331.

Drori, I., Honig, B. and Ginsberg, A., (2006). Transnational Entrepreneurship: Toward a Unifying Theoretical Framework. In: Academy of Management, Best Papers Proceedings, Q1-Q6.

Drori, I., Honig, B. and Wright, M. (2009). “Transnational Entrepreneurship: An Emergent Field of Study”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33(5): 1001-1022.

Elo M., Volovelsky E., Täube F. A., (2017) “What Attracts Diasporas To Regions? Location and Jewish Diaspora Entrepreneurs”. Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings.

Elo, (2016). “Typology of diaspora entrepreneurship: Case studies in Uzbekistan”, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 14(1): 121-155.

Faist, T. (2008). “Migrants as transnational development agents: an inquiry into the newest round of the migration–development nexus”, Population, Space and Place, 14(1): 21-42.

Faist, T. (2010). “Diaspora and transnationalism: What kind of dance partners?” In: Bauböck R. and Faist T., Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods.

Field, J. (2006). Sosyal Sermaye (Çev: Bahar Bilgin- Bayram Şen) İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları.

Gillespie, K. and Hennessey H. D. (2010), Global Marketing. Stamford, CT: Cengage (3rd ed.).

Gillespie, K., Riddle, L., Sayre, E., and Sturges, D. (1999). “Diaspora Interest in Homeland Investment.” Journal of International Business, 30(3): 623–35.

Granovetter, M. (1973). “The Strength of Weak Ties”, American Journal of Sociology. 78(6): 1360–380.

Granovetter, Mark. (1983). “The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited.” Sociological Theory, 1: 201–33.

Granovetter, M. (1985). "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness", American Journal of Sociology, 91(3): 481-510

Harima, A. (2015). “Network Dynamics of Descending Diaspora Entrepreneurship: Multiple Case Studies with Japanese Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies,” Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 10(4): 65-92.

Hatzigeorgiou, A. (2010). “Migration as trade facilitation: assessing the links between international trade and migration”, The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 10(1): 1-33.

Hernandez, E. (2014). “Finding a home away from home: effects of immigrants on firms foreign location choice and performance”, Administrative Science Quarterly, 59(1): 73–108.

Hoang, H. and Antoncic, B. (2003). Network-based research in entrepreneurship: A critical review, Journal of Business Venturing, 18: 165–187.

Hung, K., Honggen X. and Yang, X. (2013). “Why immigrants travel to their home places: Social capital and acculturation perspective”, Tourism Management, 36, 304-313.

Ibarra, H. (1993). “Network Centrality, Power and Innovation Involvement: Determinants of Technical and Administrative Roles”, Academy of Management Journal, 36(3): 471- 501.

Ionescu, D. (2006). Engaging Diasporas as Development Partners for Home and Destination Countries: Challenges for Policymakers. International Organization for Migration (IOM), https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/our_work/ICP/ IDM/ MRS26. pdf.

Iyer, G. (1999). “The impact of religion and reputation in the organization of Indian merchant communities”, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 14(2):102–117

Jack, S. (2005). “The Role, Use and Activation of Strong and Weak Network Ties: A Qualitative Analysis”, Journal of Management Studies 42:6.

Jamealla, V. and Intharacks (2016). The Influence of Ethnicity on Consumer Behaviour: A study of inter-generational and inter-group differences. Unpublished PhD thesis, Western Sydney University.

Jenssen, J. I. and Koenig, H. F. (2002). “The effect of social networks on resource access and business start-ups”, European Planning Studies, 10(8): 1039-1046.

Kim, C., Laroche, M. and Tomiuk, M. A. (2001). “A measure of acculturation for Italian Canadians: scale development and construct validation”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 25(6): 607-637

Kloosterman, R. and Rath, J. (2001). “Immigrant entrepreneurs in advanced economies, mixed embeddedness further explored, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(2): 189-202.

Koot, W., Leisink, P., and Verweel, P. (2003). Organizational relationships in the networking age: The dynamicsn of identity formation and bonding. Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar.

Kourtit, K., Nijkamp, P. and Leeuwen, E. (2013). “New Entrepreneurship in Urban Diasporas in our Modern World”, Journal of Urban Management, 2(1): 25–47.

Kshetri, N. (2013). “The Diaspora as a Change Agent in Entrepreneurship-Related Institutions In Sub-Saharan Africa”, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, 18(3):1-27.

Kumar, N. and Steenkamp, J.E. M. (2013). “Diaspora marketing”, Harvard Business Review. 91:10, 127-131.

Kyle, D. (1999). "The Otavalo Trade Diaspora: Social Capital and Transnational Entrepreneurship", Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(2):422-446

Landolt, P., Autler, L. and Baires, S. (1999). “From Hermano Lejano to Hermano Mayor: the dialectics of Salvadoran transnationalism”, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 22(2): 290-315.

Laroche, M., Kim, C., Tomiuk, M. and Belisle, D. (2005). “Similarities in Italian and Greek multidimensional ethnic identity: some implications for food consumption”, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 21(4): 143-167.

Levin, D.Z. and Barnard, H. (2013). “Connections to distant knowledge: Interpersonal ties between more and less developed countries”, Journal of International Business Studies 44(7): 676-698.

Lin and Tao, (2012). “Transnational entrepreneurs: Characteristics, drivers, and success factors”, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 10(1): 50-69

Lin, X. (2010). “The diaspora solution to innovation capacity development: immigrant entrepreneurs in the contemporary world”, Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2): 123-36.

Massey, D. S. (1988). “Economic Development and International Migration in Comparative Perspective”, Population and Development Review, 14(3):83-413

Minto-Coy, I.D. (2016). “The Role of Diasporas in the Growth and Internationalisation of Businesses in Countries of Origin”, in Elo, M. and Riddle, L. (eds.), Diaspora Business, Oxford: InterDisciplinary.Net.

Moghaddam, K., Rustambekov, E., Weber, T. and Azarpanah, S. (2018). "Transnational entrepreneurship, social networks, and institutional distance: Toward a theoretical framework", New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, 21(1): 45-64.

Mustafa, M. and Chen, S. (2010). “The strength of family networks in transnational immigrant entrepreneurship” - Thunderbird International Business Review, 52(2): 97-106.

Nahapiet, J. and Ghoshal, S. (1998). “Social capital, intellectual capital and theorganizational advantage”, Academy of Management Review, 23(2): 242–266.

Narayan, D. and Pritchett, L. (2000). “Social Capital: A Multifaceted Perspective”, World Bank, Washington, DC.

Newland, K. and Tanaka, H. (2010). “Mobilizing diaspora entrepreneurship for development”, Washington DC: USAID and MPI.

Nijkamp, P., Gheasi, M., and Rietveld, P. (2012). “Migrants and International Economic Linkages: A Meta-Overview”, Spatial Economic Analysis, 6: 359-376.

Nuesink, N. and Doolaard, A. (2013). Social Interaction with Natives and Ethnic Identification: A Study of Minority Groups in the Netherlands. Unpublished Bachelor thesis, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, https://dspace.library. uu.nl/handle/1874/283856.

O'Donnell, A., A. Gilmore, D. Cummins and D. Carson. (2001). "The network construct in entrepreneurship research: A review and critique." Management Decision 39(9): 749-760.

Ojo, S., (2013a). Diaspora entrepreneurship: A study of Nigerian entrepreneurs in London. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of East London.

Ojo, S. (2013b). “Diaspora Entrepreneurship: New Directions in Enterprise Development”, in N. Ndubisi, N. and Nwankwo, S., Enterprise Development in SMEs and Entrepreneurial Firms: Dynamic Process,. Hershey: IGI Global.

Orozco, M., Lowell L., Bump M. and Fedewa R. (2005). “Transnational Engagement, Remittances and their Relationship to Development”, in Latin America and the Caribbean, Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University.

Orozco M (2008b). Tasting identity: trends in migrant demands for home country goods. US Agency for International Development, Washington D.C.

Orozco M., Yansura J. (2018). “A Taste of Home: The Nostalgia Trade and Migrant Economic Transnationalism”. In: Elo M., Minto-Coy I. (eds) Diaspora Networks in International Business. Contributions to Management Science. Springer, Cham

Portes, A. (2001). “Introduction: The Debates and Significance of Immigrant Transnationalism”, Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs, 1(3):181-193.

Putnam, R., Leonardi, R. and Nanetti, R.Y. (1993). Making Democracy Work, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.

Putnam, R. D. (1995). “Tuning in, turning out: The strange disappearance of social capital in America”, Political Science and Politics, 27: 64-83.

Ranjan, R. (2015). Entrepreneurship in the Indian Diaspora. https://www.researchgate. net/publication/280534519/download, A Journal of Transnational Studies 6(3): 277-299.

Rath, J (2006). “Entrepreneurship Among Migrants And Returnees: Creating New Opportunities, International Symposium on International Migration and Development”, Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES), University of Amsterdam.

Riddle, L. (2008). "Diasporas: Exploring their Development Potential", Journal of Microfinance / ESR Review, 10(2): 28-36.

Riddle, L, Hrivnak, G.A. and Nielsen, T.M. (2010). “Transnational diaspora entrepreneurship in emerging markets: Bridging institutional divides”, Journal of International Management 16(4): 398-411.

Rizwan, M., Hassan, M. And Kalsoom, U. (2017). “Influence of Acculturation on the Brand Selection of the South Asian Diaspora in the UK”, Journal of Business Studies, 13(2).

Rouse, R. (1991). “Mexican Migration and the Social Space of Postmodernism”, Diaspora, 1(1): 8-23.

Safran, W. (1991). “Diasporas in modern societies: Myths of homeland and return”, Diaspora 1(1): 83–99.

Salaff, J., Greve, A., Wong, S.L. and Ping, L.X.L. (2003). “Ethnic entrepreneurship, social networks and the enclave, In Yeoh, B., Kiong, C. and Charney, M.W. (eds), Approaching Transnationalism: Transnational Societies, Multicultural Contacts, and Imaginings of Home, Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Boston. Sangita, S. (2013). “The effect of diasporic business networks on international trade flows”, Review of International Economics, 21(2): 266–280.

Saxenian, A. (2006). The new Argonauts, http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~ anno/Papers/IMF_World_Bank_paper.pdf.

Segev, S., Ruvio, A., Shoham, A. and Velan, D. (2014). "Acculturation and consumer loyalty among immigrants: a cross-national study", European Journal of Marketing, 48: 9-10.

Sequeira, J. and Rasheed, A. (2004). “The role of social and Human Capital in the start-up and growth of immigrant businesses”, Ethnic Entrepreneurship: Structure and Process. International Research in the Business Disciplines, 4: 77-94.

Sequeira, J. M., Carr, J.C., and Rasheed, A. A. (2009). “Transnational entrepreneurship: Determinants of firm type and owner attributions of success”, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 33 (5): 1023–1044.

Sequeira, J.M. and Rasheed, A. A. (2015) "The Role of Social and Human Capital in the Start-Up and Growth of Immigrant Businesses", International Research in the Business Disciplines, 4-77.

Shane, S. and Venkataraman, S. (2000). “The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research” Academy Management Review, 25(1): 217–26.

Sheffer, G. (1986). “A new field of study: Modern diasporas in international politics”, in Sheffer, G. (eds.), Modern Diasporas in International Politics, London: Croom Helm.

Shoham, A., Segev, S. and Gavish, Y. (2017). “The effect of acculturation and ethnic identification on consumer disidentification and consumption: An investigation of U.S. Hispanics”, J Consumer Behav. 16: 403–412.

Simba, A. and Ojong, N. (2018). “Diaspora networks: a social capital source for entrepreneurship in low-income and emerging economies in Africa”, In: D. Hack-Polay and J. Siwale, (eds.), African diaspora direct investment: establishing the economic and socio-cultural rationale, Palgrave studies of entrepreneurship in Africa. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sirkeci, I. (2013), Transnational Marketing and Transnational Consumers, Heidelberg: Springer.

Sirkeci, I. and Cohen, J. H. (2016). “Cultures of migration and conflict in contemporary human mobility in Turkey”, European Review, 24(3): 381–396.

Sommer, E. and Gamper, M. (2018). “Transnational entrepreneurial activities: A qualitative network study of self-employed migrants from the former Soviet Union in Germany”, Social Networks 53: 136-147.

Sonderegger, P. and Täube, F. (2010). “Cluster life cycle and diaspora effects: Evidence from the Indian IT cluster in Bangalore”, Journal of International Management, 16(4): 383-397.

Starr, J. A. and Macmillan, I. C. (1990). “Resource cooptation via social contracting: Resource acquisition strategies for new ventures”, Strategic Management Journal, 11: 79–92.

Usher, E. (2005). “The evolving role of diasporas”, Refugee Survey Quarterly, 24(4): 47–49.

Utku, D. E., Unutulmaz, K. O., Sirkeci, I. (eds.) (2017). Turkey's Syrians: Today and Tomorrow. London: Transnational Press London.

Van Gelderen, M. (2007). “Country of origin as a source of business opportunities”, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 4(4): 419-430.

Veckie, E. and Veckie, V.W. (no date). Importance of Ethnicity and Diasporas as Access Gateways to BusinessExpansion,http://www.efos.unios.hr/repec/osi/eecytt/PDF/ EconomyofeasternCroatiayesterdaytodaytomorrow04/eecytt0451.

Vemuri, S.R. (2014). “Formation of Diaspora Entrepreneurs. Center for Transnational Studies”, Universities of Bremen and Oldenbur, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2519432.

Vertovec, S. (1999). “Three meanings of ‘diaspora’, exemplified among South Asian religions”, Diaspora, 6(3): 277-300.

Vissak, T., and Zhang, X. (2014). “Chinese immigrant entrepreneurs involvement in internationalization and innovation: Three Canadian cases”. Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 12(2): 183 - 201.

Voigt-Graf, C. (2004). “Towards a geography of transnational spaces: Indian transnational communities in Australia”. Global Networks, 4(1): 25–49.

Welter, F. and D. Smallbone (2010), 'The Embeddedness of Women’s Entrepreneurship in a Transition Context', in Brush, C. G., A. De Bruin, E. Gatewood and C. Henry (eds.), Women Entrepreneurs and the Global Environment for Growth: A Research Perspective, Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.

Williams, N. E. (2018). “Mobilising diaspora to promote homeland investment: The progress of policy in post-conflict economies”, Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 0(0): 1–24

Wong, L. L., and Ng S. M. (2002). “The emergence of small transnational enterprise in Vancouver: The case of Chinese immigrants”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26(3): 508–530.

WorldBank, http://www.worldbank.org/en/research/publication/moving-for-prosperity

Worldbank, (2018). https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/04/23/ record-high-remittances-to-low-and-middle-income-countries-in-2017.

Yazgan, P., Utku, D. E. and Sirkeci, I. (2015). "Syrian Crisis and Migration," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 12(3): 181-192.

Zimmermann, K. F. (1995). “Tackling the European Migration Problem”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 9(2): 45-62.



How to Cite

Sirkeci, I., & Zeren, F. (2018). Diaspora Marketing Revisited: The nexus of entrepreneurs and consumers. Transnational Marketing Journal, 6(2), 139-157. https://doi.org/10.33182/tmj.v6i2.588




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>