Transnational Migration: A Study of Ghanaian Immigrant Entrepreneurs’ Socio-economic Activities in the Canadian Prairies
In recent years, advanced technologies in information, communication, and transportation have changed the contours of international migration and created a situation that enables immigrants to live in more than one country simultaneously. The simultaneous living of immigrants in more than one country takes place in two ways - physical and emotional (where immigrants forge and sustain various transnational social and economic relations between their societies of origin and settlement). This dissertation focuses on the transnational economic activities of Ghanaian immigrant entrepreneurs in three Canadian Prairie cities – Calgary, Saskatoon/Regina, and Winnipeg. The study specifically explores immigrants’ motivation for transnational entrepreneurship, experiences, challenges, and coping strategies. A qualitative research method involving in-depth interviews and focus group discussions was adopted as well as involving descriptive statistics. The study revealed that Ghanaian immigrants’ motivation for entrepreneurship is primarily based on family considerations in both ‘home’ and host countries. The study also found an entrepreneurial culture as another driving force for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs were found to maintain simultaneous economic and social ties and links with family and friends in their country of origin (Ghana) and other places, such as Turkey, China, and Dubai, to facilitate their entrepreneurial activities in Canada in areas such as importing and exporting of goods and services. Furthermore, the study found that race, accent, and start-up capital were significant challenges that these entrepreneurs face; however, these entrepreneurs developed coping strategies such as resiliency, the building of networks, and ‘faceless’ business transactions in their transnational entrepreneurial activities.
Transnationalism, Migration, Entrepreneurship, Immigrants, Ghanaians
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)