22 Jan 3 Reasons Why Expats are Great Entrepreneurs
Adjusting in a foreign country has its own challenges and they seem even harder when you are an expatriate (expat) worker starting your own venture. However, being an expat-entrepreneur has its own silver lining. Their experiences do give them an edge over others.
Here are 3 reasons why an expat is a great entrepreneur:
Learning quickly and solving problems: Character traits become skills
An expat-entrepreneur is already adjusting to their life abroad. By default, the onus of adapting to the host country and simultaneously creating an agile work environment for local staff falls on them. In such a scenario, quick learning, problem-solving, and risk-taking skills become second nature, making an expat highly flexible in their business approach.
For example, they are already aware of the logistical concerns, currency fluctuations, local policies, and laws. Thus, they actively find new ways to work around them.
Emerging markets: Applying the old and the new
One major benefit of being an expat-entrepreneur is that they can see an emerging market with a fresh and objective perspective. The product and services that are a reality in their country may not exist or could be at a nascent stage in their current country.
An expat has the natural ability to continue identifying and seek these entrepreneurial opportunities and align their business goals accordingly. Their unique background gives them an edge over others to see the “need” and work towards fulfilling it. They can also successfully identify a “want” and create a niche around it.
For example, a developing country may not have a big demand for handlooms created by local native tribes. An expat’s developed country, on the other hand, might have a lot of people interested in buying traditional handspun local products. This presents a business opportunity that the expat can leverage.
Being open: Uncomfortable is comfortable
An expat is always looking for new challenges.
Living and working in a foreign country ensures that expats who are entrepreneurs get comfortable in uncomfortable situations because more often than not, they have to function at a high level in a stressful situation. Their time filling permits, business registration, looking up trading laws, tax and compliance requirements, and employment guidelines gives them knowledge leverage in dealing with the host country.
Expats quickly adjust to a new culture – work or otherwise – trying seemingly strange dishes, meeting new people, managing communication in a second language, and working their way around a lot of high-pressure situations on a daily basis.