Entrepreneurial success of Sri Lankan immigrants in Japan


  • H.D. Karunaratne University of Colombo, Sri Lanka


The aim of this paper is to evaluate entrepreneurial success of Sri Lankan immigrants in Japan. A questionnaire was distributed to 500 Sri Lankan immigrant entrepreneurs in Japan (SLIEJ), of whom 316 responded. Quantitative analysis was used to understand the relationship between entrepreneurial issues, entrepreneurial success and entrepreneurial prospects. Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses and Structural Equation Model (SEM) were used to evaluate data and verify hypothesized relationships. Three main hypotheses were tested. Findings indicate that the relationship between immigrant entrepreneurial issues and entrepreneurial success was significantly positive. The relationship between entrepreneurial success and entrepreneurial prospect was also significant. Among the main issues faced by SLIEJ were inconsistency and sudden changes of policies by the Sri Lankan government, low quality but low price new products imported from China, quality maintenance of Sri Lankan suppliers, technology issues among Sri Lankan suppliers, regulations for agricultural goods importation into Japan, and skilled labour shortages in Japan. Use of innovation, export orientation and high assimilation into Japanese society and economy were identified as special characteristics of successful SLIEJ. Our findings suggest that improving the practical literacy level of immigrants by enhancing language proficiency, ICT skills, financial literacy, networking among ethnic groups, and innovativeness of immigrants will contribute to a significant increase in immigrant entrepreneurs in host countries.
Keywords: International migration, immigrant entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial success, Sri Lankan immigrants, immigrant entrepreneurs in Japan