Hold On, Economic Migration is NOT Entrepreneurship!

Guest Post by Aarya Nijat, WB-SAES Youth Delegate from Afghanistan
One panelist attempted at erasing the distinction between economic migration and entrepreneurship, and asked for the need to focus resources elsewhere but on promoting entrepreneurship, since this runs in the South Asian blood. This is an interesting observation, but flawed in my opinion.

First, the definition makes it pretty clear. The Encyclopedia of Economics defines an entrepreneur as “someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise, an agent of change.” Entrepreneurship it says “is the process of discovering new ways of combining resources.” An economic migrant on the other hand is “someone who has emigrated from one region to another region for the purposes of seeking employment or improved financial position.”

Secondly, the soul of entrepreneurship is the capacity to enter into an inter-dependent relation with the market in a way that gives the entrepreneur more independence in setting the terms of that engagement. Economic migration is a dynamic marked by dependence of the migrant on the system into which he submits.

And third, entrepreneurship is characterized with capacity to be creative within given limitations; it is to discover new ways of combining existing resources within a system, calling for an engagement with the system form a dominant position. While the economic migrant leaves the system –totally giving up on the idea of discovering new ways of combining internal resources- and engages with another outside system from the position of an outsider and therefore a submissive position.

The drive to promote entrepreneurship should not inspire us to mix not so healthy patterns of migration with the creative art of entrepreneurial activism, whether in public or in private sectors.

Aarya Blogs at http://www.aanijat.blogspot.com