Transnational Investments of the Tunisian Diaspora: Trajectories, Skills Accumulation and Constraints

Author(s) : Sylvia Garcia Delahaye, Gabriela Tejada

Source :


This chapter is based on recent empirical data on Tunisians living in Switzerland. It focuses on their migration pathways and experiences, and it examines their propensity to engage in entrepreneurial and business activities in their home country. Despite the hopes generated by the revolution of 2011, many people in Tunisia, especially young males from disadvantaged regions, have not enjoyed the positive changes in employment opportunities and professional prospects. This has led to them emigrating to Europe to ensure an income for themselves and their families back in Tunisia. An online survey accompanied by follow-up interviews enabled us to observe the experiences of Tunisian diaspora entrepreneurs and their current and potential future transnational business and investment activities. This chapter shows how the internationalization and accumulation of networks and skills by Tunisians, resulting from the multiple destinations they traversed before arriving in Switzerland, has influenced their professional capacities and their business and entrepreneurial projects in Tunisia. Tunisians feel a strong motivation to contribute to the development process in their home country, and they tend to invest and open businesses in their villages of origin. Several enablers and obstacles that influence their actions are observed. The conclusions include a number of policy recommendations based on the experiences and aspirations of these Tunisians.


Diaspora entrepreneurship, Transnational investments, Home country development, Migration and development, Tunisia, Switzerland 



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