"Leaving and coming back to invest": The genesis of a new figure of Moroccans transmigrants entrepreneurs

Author Name

Hicham JAMD

Author Address

Hicham JAMD


Moroccan Diaspora, trade, business, investment, returning migrants.


The Moroccan Diaspora comprises a tremendous amount of human and financial capital which plays a decisive role in the Kingdom’s economic development, both in terms of remittances and investment. However, if Moroccans living in the Diaspora have saved a sufficient amount of money for realizing a project in their country of origin; starting a business or just the investment as such is a big challenge these potential entrepreneurs are facing upon their return.

Contrary to the old generation of emigrants who mainly focused on investment in real estate, one can observe that a new generation of investors and business founders is emerging among the Moroccan Diaspora. It seems to be more interested in productive sectors, above all trade, agriculture, industry and services.

The acquisition of a small business such as a café or a bakery seems to be the most suitable way of getting started for returnees as these are investments with immediate revenues, that don’t need much financial capital, nor particular know-how.


Furthermore, we propose to analyze returning migrants’ investments also in the context of the country of origin’s challenges in terms of today’s migration; more specifically in the commercial sector of the city of Agadir, which is the capital of the Souss region[1].


The history of trade and emigration from this region is considered very important in our paper. In a first step, we will have a closer look at Souss’ place in the history of Moroccan emigration. We want to show how the people of Souss have managed to keep their commercial tradition along their migration experience.


In a second step we will analyze migrant entrepreneurs’ profiles, their motivation to invest into business in Agadir and the links between their projects, their migration history and former activity in the host country. Based on a field survey among these entrepreneurs, we will analyze the types and characteristics of these businesses, their location, how they work.  


International Conference on "Global Migration: Rethinking Skills, Knowledge and Culture"
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