Foreign entrepreneurs in Tokyo's and Singapore's knowledge-intensive start-up sector 

Helena Hof

Sub-project of the BMBF-funded research project “Qualification and Skill in the Migration Process of Foreign Workers in Asia (QuaMaFa)”, in cooperation with Dr. Ruth Achenbach and Dr. Joohyun Justyn Park (University of Frankfurt), Dr. Aimi Muranaka (University of Duisburg-Essen), and Dr. Megha Wadhwa (Free University of Berlin).

The four-year collaborative project investigates the role of skills in labor migration in major migrant receiving market economies in (South)East Asia. The project adopts a mixed-methods approach (qualitative: semi-structured interviews and participant observation; quantitative: self-reported cross-sectional survey) and uses an intersectional analysis to explore the following questions: How do skills shape migration experiences in Asia? Which role does the agency of migrants play for acquiring additional skills and labor market integration? How do these factors influence further mobility and staying decisions? Next to addressing an academic audience, the research group will also conduct public lectures, engage in teacher training and produce a documentary for a wide dissemination of the findings.

Helena conducts her individual project “Foreign Entrepreneurs in Tokyo's and Singapore's knowledge-intensive start-up sector” at the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity. In this individual project, Helena studies the human dimension of innovation in Tokyo’s and Singapore’s start-up ecosystem and focuses on the link between migrants’ involvement in local entrepreneurial networks and their professional as well as overall embedding in the host society. In the light of Japan’s and Singapore’s attempts to attract and retain entrepreneurs in innovative sectors the project examines the human side of these entrepreneurs’ presence in the host cities and their involvement in local businesses and communities. The main aim is to sketch a picture of the emergence of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the two cities and to explore the relation between the diversification of businesses and that of society, as well as the potential of fruitful synergies between the two.

Go to Editor View