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Migrant Business Families in Central America

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Publication date30/01/2023
Host publicationDe Gruyter Handbook of Business Families
EditorsMichael Carney, Marleen Dieleman
Number of pages22
ISBN (electronic)9783110727968
ISBN (print)9783110728057
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameDe Gruyter Handbooks in Business, Economics and Finance
PublisherDe Gruyter


This study deals with migrant business families. The main argument of this chapter is that migrant business families, as a category, underscores a capacity to adapt to new and changing environments. While some recent studies have suggested the prevalence of migrant business families around the world, we still know little about the challenges they face to create and develop their firms, particularly in underexplored contexts. Using a historical approach, we advance understanding by concentrating on Arab and German migrant business families in two Central American developing countries, Honduras and Nicaragua, respectively. We find that initial and subsequent contextual changes in host countries may support and/or disadvantage some migrant families over others over time. Yet a reliance on ethnic and transnational networks may allow migrant business families to adapt and thrive. In contrast to prior work, migrant business family members in developing economies contextually adapt through a cultivating an ethnic family culture, enhancing ethnic networks and strengthening transnational business links. Our chapter argues that the ability of business families to adapt and prosper in a wide range of environments explains their prevalence around the world.