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ABSTRACT. Originating in International Business literature, this paper focuses on how the background of foreign entrepreneurs affect an entrepreneurial venture launched in a non-native host country. IB research has long been focused on challenges faced by MNEs when internationalizing (the liability of foreignness - LOF). However, little attention has been given to entrepreneurs who choose to start their businesses overseas, where they are likely to experience the LOF. The research at hand investigates this phenomenon. The author has undertaken an exploratory study using Tokyo, Japan, as a reference point. Ten foreign entrepreneurs were interviewed, along with a local consultant. Findings show that foreign entrepreneurs are susceptible to the LOF, and revealed strategies utilized to cope with the LOF, alongside unique advantages held by the entrepreneurs. The study suggests that a more dynamic concept should be applied when analyzing FEs, and thus introducing the impact of foreignness. pp. 43–65

Keywords: foreign entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; advantages of foreignness; assets of foreignness; impact of foreignness; liability of foreignness (LOF); immigration; immigrant entrepreneurship; Japan
JEL Codes: F22; L2

Benjamin Walch
Copenhagen Business School
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