HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 15 no. 2 (2015)

Culture, Structure, and Co-Ethnic Relations of Indonesians Migrant Entrepreneurship in Taiwan

Paulus Rudolf Yuniarto



Migrant entrepreneurship prompts a series of fascinating research questions on the nature, culture, and interconnectedness of migrant situations within host settlements. The rise of migrant entrepreneurship is the outcome of the integration of these cultural-structural elements in order to mobilize resources to fulfill the demands of entrepreneurship and to obtain competitive advantages in business. This paper describes how the symbiotic relations between migrants and their socio-cultural conditions shape the patterns of Indonesian entrepreneurship in Taiwan. In practice, Indonesian migrant entrepreneurship in Taiwan involves entrepreneurs applying local values or customs in the host society and then (re)produce them in their business activities, expecting profit from customers without losing the social cohesion of their business operations. Two interactive model apply in this practice: first accommodate the basic social and economic needs of migrant workers and develop social cohesion among them; second, entrepreneurs engage in mutual relationships in their developing social networks in Taiwan. Indonesian migrant entrepreneurships are not independent economic business operations; rather, they are strongly linked to the social and cultural conditions of migrants. Entrepreneurs often play the role of “friends” in need, acting as a third-party resource to migrants so they can find help and self-actualization, as well as acting as patrons and brokers to migrants in trouble. The data on which this paper is based was collected in Taiwan from June to December 2014 using participation observation and in-depth interviews as the basic research methods.