International Entrepreneurial Migration in Asia

Ms Diane Bouleau1

1National University Of Singapore, Singapore

In a context of state entrepreneurial migration, it is commonly assumed that promising entrepreneurs select global and conducive entrepreneurial ecosystems to set up their business. Thus, since a few years, there has been an increasing competition among countries to attract these innovative and technology-led entrepreneurs by building supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems and offering dedicated visas. Consequently, many studies focus on the reproducibility of successful entrepreneurial ecosystems (generally located in Western countries) and on the entrepreneurs who immigrate there (generally from South to North). To challenge this mainstream perspective on entrepreneurial migration, this work examines the exit of entrepreneurs in an Asian context by using Japan as a vantage point. As Japanese firms used foreign direct investment to voice their discontent with Japanese economic policies in the 2000s, some of these entrepreneurs voice their contestation against Japanese entrepreneurial ecosystem by emigrating. The understanding of entrepreneurship infrastructures in an Asian context is then an effective tool to highlight the political dimension of entrepreneurial migration that is often missing in studies of entrepreneurial ecosystems worldwide.


Diane Bouleau is a PhD candidate at the National University of Singapore. She graduated from the University of Paris I La Sorbonne in geography and the University of Queensland Business School in international business. Mixing economic geography with migration studies, she examines entrepreneurial migration from an infrastructural perspective, with a particular focus on the notion of ‘desirable entrepreneur’ and the attractiveness of ordinary cities.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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