Migration is an important global phenomenon fostering entrepreneurship. Migrants are individuals who are moving or have moved across an international border, or nationally across different regions or provinces, away from their habitual place of residence (UN Migration Agency, 2019). These individuals are considered migrants regardless of what their legal status is, whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary, what the causes for the movement are, or what the length of the stay is (UN Migration Agency, 2019). Migrants also move back to their countries of origin, constituting return migration, and often contribute to the development of local economies in multiple ways (e.g., Riddle & Brinkerhoff, 2011; Dahles, 2013; Bai et al. 2016). Migrants form ethnic communities and engage in businesses which are influenced by place and space (Light et al., 1994; Dana 2007; Galbraith et al., 2007; Urbano et al., 2011; Elo & Vemuri, 2016; Munkejord, 2017; Ramadani et al., 2019). When migrants cross national and international geographical borders, they connect markets within and/or beyond one country, leading to valuable economic development (Evansluong, 2016; Ram et al., 2017; Ojo, 2017; Elo et al., 2019a; Jones et al., 2019).
As migrants move around the world, they establish and maintain contacts with their family members in different countries. Family is recognized as a resource and an institution for entrepreneurship, which provides a basis for trust, collective actions, and a sense of community (Jack & Anderson, 2002; Aldrich & Cliff, 2003). Yet, because of migration, the meaning and roles of family span borders and contexts. Migrant entrepreneurs sustain and create family configurations and ties with other individuals in the place of origin and the place of residence (Evansluong & Ramirez-Pasillas, 2019), which we term ‘family across borders’. The literature on migrant entrepreneurship acknowledges that cross-borders activities among migrants occur to varying degrees. Some migrants maintain strong connections with their country of origin at the same time they become part of their country of residence. By contrast, other migrants reduce interaction or terminate connections to their home country in search of a better life in the country of residence (Waldinger, 2013; Park & Waldinger, 2017). Migrants can create a family with a person from the same country of origin, from the country of residence, or from a different nationality. They can choose to remain single but still keep close interactions with extended families. Such family configurations and ties might exercise an influence on entrepreneurial activities and processes, but this potential is still left unexplored (Aldrich & Cliff, 2003).