Journal of Business and entrepreneurial
January - March Vol. 7 - 1 - 2023
e-ISSN: 2576-0971
Receipt: 09 May 2022
Approval: 1 September 2022
Page 79-91
The contribution of migrant enterprises and
businesses in Ecuador's economic history
El aporte de emprendimientos y empresas de migrantes en
la historia económica del Ecuador
Elizabeth Arias Domínguez
Dayanara Lilieth Arias Navarrete
Danielys María Hernández Bernay
Gián Sebastián Rodríguez Villamar
The objective of this article is to make known the social
and economic impact of migrants in Ecuador, through the
study of bibliographic material from official sources and
surveys conducted to compare the migratory and
entrepreneurial reality in the country with international
statistics that have the purpose of providing an amplified
vision of the importance that this type of entrepreneurship
has in Ecuadorian territory. Entrepreneurship has emerged
as an alternative to carry out commercial activities by
people who have creative and innovative ideas, nowadays
it has become more frequent since it provides autonomy
to entrepreneurs and the opportunity to implement
projects to ensure their welfare and professional growth.
Migrants usually have an entrepreneurial attitude due to
the firm intention of improving their quality of life. In the
development of this project, it can be observed that most
of the migrants in Ecuador are of Venezuelan nationality,
who were motivated to become entrepreneurs due to the
lack of employment or jobs with insufficient salaries. Based
on the data collected from the sources consulted, it was
possible to make a comparison between the levels of
* Master's degree, Instituto Superior Universitario Bolivariano de
Tecnologías, Bolivarian University of Ecuador,
* C.P.A. Instituto Superior Universitario Bolivariano de Tecnologías,
* C.P.A. Instituto Superior Universitario Bolivariano de Tecnologías,
* C.P.A. Instituto Superior Universitario Bolivariano de Tecnologías,
e-ISSN: 2576-0971. January - March Vol. 7 - 1 - 2023 .
education, where they highlight levels of study ranging
between second and third level, showing an inclination to
have a good academic preparation.
Keywords: Migration, Entrepreneurship, Immigrants,
Employment, Economy.
El objetivo de este artículo es dar a conocer el impacto
social y económico que aportan los migrantes en Ecuador,
mediante el estudio de material bibliográfico de fuentes
oficiales y encuestas realizadas para comparar la realidad
migratoria y emprendedora en el país con estadísticas
internacionales que tienen el fin de aportar una visión
amplificada sobre la importancia que este tipo de
emprendimiento tienen en el territorio ecuatoriano. El
emprendimiento ha surgido como una alternativa para
realizar actividades comerciales por parte de personas que
tienen ideas creativas e innovadoras, en la actualidad se ha
hecho más frecuente ya que le brinda autonomía a los
emprendedores y la oportunidad de poner en marcha
proyectos para garantizar su bienestar y crecimiento
profesional. Los migrantes normalmente tienen una actitud
emprendedora debido a la firme intención de mejorar su
calidad de vida. En el desarrollo de este proyecto, se puede
observar que la mayoría de los migrantes en Ecuador son
de nacionalidad venezolana, quienes se vieron motivados a
emprender debido a la falta empleo o trabajos con sueldos
insuficientes. Con base en los datos recopilados de las
fuentes consultadas, se pudo realizar una comparación
entre los grados de educación donde resaltan niveles de
estudio que oscilan entre segundo y tercer nivel,
mostrando una inclinación a contar con una buena
preparación académica.
Palabras clave: Migración, Emprendimiento, Inmigrantes,
Empleo, Economía.
Throughout history, different mass exoduses of certain populations have been observed
as a consequence of economic, political or social conflicts. Latin America has always been
a territory strongly affected by governments that have not been beneficial for the stability
of the countries. Particularly in the case of Venezuela, a political conflict has generated
the mobilization of a large number of people in search of a better quality of life.
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People continue to leave Venezuela to flee violence, insecurity, threats, lack of food,
medicine and essential services. With more than 6 million refugees and migrants from
Venezuela - the majority of whom live in Latin American and Caribbean countries - this
has become the second largest external displacement crisis in the world.(United Nations
High Commissioner for Refugees, n.d.)
Ecuador is one of the countries in Latin America that welcomes a large number of
Venezuelans, due to the accessibility of the Andean country for the arrival of migrants
thanks to its proximity. As mentioned by Orbegoso (2019): "As of November 2019,
according to UNHCR, more than 4.6 million people have left the country and 80% of
them are in other Latin American countries". In addition to these data, it is estimated
that the countries that have presented the greatest entry of Venezuelan citizens are
Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, the latter having received 385,000 Venezuelan migrants
for 2019 according to data established by the ANCUR(Orbegoso, 2019).
The governments of the main Latin American countries where Venezuelan migration
arrives have implemented measures that seek the regularization of migrants so that they
can integrate into society and develop economically and professionally; thanks to this
more than 2 million temporary and permanent permits have been granted since 2015
between the different countries, thus allowing stabilization and development
opportunities for migrants (Chang, 2020).
In the case of Ecuador specifically, within the different options of visas and temporary
and permanent residences, around 107,000 residences had been issued by 2019 (Chang,
2020). Providing regularization to migrants who have professional training, knowledge
and experience in different areas can become a booster for the economy of Ecuador
thanks to the implementation of enterprises that provide jobs and profits for the country
through the payment of taxes. As determined by the authors Arevalo and Arevalo
Entrepreneurship as a social and business phenomenon has revolutionized the
conception of new business in today's world. Entrepreneurial activity is now a vital
component of national and regional economic growth and development, since it fosters
innovation, job creation and improves the global competitiveness of companies and
entire countries (p. 28).
For immigrants, an entrepreneurial culture is represented by the determination towards
the future and success, to overcome and move forward, as well as to face risks and
uncertainties; they are eager to start different projects in a different country, where
customs are different and in some cases also the language. They are willing to sacrifice
in order to get their families out of the crisis or simply to give them a better quality of
life and greater peace of mind.
According to articles in the newspaper El Universo (2021)(2022)In Ecuador, alliances
and programs for social and economic inclusion have been created by the United
Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and entities such as the International Labor
Organization (ILO) and the Economic Promotion Agency of the Metropolitan District
of Quito (ConQuito), alleging the legal, administrative and social difficulties that migrants
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have to be placed in decent jobs, since their opportunities are usually in the informal
sector where their rights are not usually respected.
International support has also been present to support the skills and ideas of migrants
in Ecuador, thanks to countries such as South Korea, who through the project "creating
opportunities for prosperity" in conjunction with the Export and Investment Promotion
Corporation (Corpei) provided their collaboration to grant up to USD $2,600 in 2022
to 120 ventures of Venezuelan migrants legally residing in Ecuador. "The enterprises
belong to the food, childcare, beauty, footwear, commerce, decoration, carpentry,
education, industry, advertising, health, services, technology, textile, tourism and
veterinary sectors" (El Universo, 2022). (El Universo, 2022).
The conditions of migrants are not always similar; there is a part of the migrant
population that does not have the same opportunities, either due to lack of resources
or lack of professional training, which leads them to resort to informal jobs. According
to Bravo, Serrano and Serrano (2021):
Since the presence of Venezuelans in the streets, informal businesses have undergone
changes, and new businesses are constantly being observed in the streets and avenues
or the growth of those that already existed. Street businesses predominate in populated
areas, but the control and tax agencies remain as spectators, trying to ensure that their
competencies do not negatively influence these sensitive productive survival options
As mentioned by Serrano, Bravo and Serrano (2021) in the country there are laws that
support informal businesses according to the 2008 constitution, in which article 183
alleges the implementation of a social and solidarity-based economic system. In addition,
the entities responsible for monitoring and regulating these businesses have provided
some flexibility and leniency to them, in order to support the productivity and
microeconomy of citizens (p. 63).
Jaramillo and Rodriguez (2019) mention "given the limited supply of employment, many
people choose to engage in informal activities or sales in order to meet daily needs, such
activities are witnessed daily in the bay sector of the city of Guayaquil" (p.2).
However, those who are able to formally incorporate their businesses or ventures
usually make a positive contribution to the community and the local economy. Ganán
(2019) states "the immigrant entrepreneur is not affected by the situation of the
destination country. Faced with an economic crisis, immigrants do not consider the
possibility of closing their businesses; rather, they look for new ways to keep it open"
Serrano, Bravo and Serrano (2021) describe entrepreneurship as the attitude of people
to take advantage of their qualities to surpass themselves in spite of the adversities they
may face. Entrepreneurship has been described as a person's ability to move forward in
a new way and with renewed ideas (p.61).
A determining factor for success in business ventures is to maintain a good relationship
with customers, adjusting to their needs; likewise, a good service at the time of selling
is relevant. It is important to point out that there are risks involved in entrepreneurship,
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since, being new in the market, it is necessary to achieve a position in it, gaining the
customer's trust and offering a quality service or product, which helps to overcome
adversities and move forward with the projects.
According to the author Siguencia (2010) migrants who have ventures normally carry
out previous studies to avoid failures or failures. They implement a corporate culture
where there is determination to achieve their objectives, fulfilling the necessary activities
or tasks without setting limitations (p.34).
Ecuador is a country with abundant natural resources, which despite being in the process
of development and maintaining economic and social setbacks, is an attractive
destination for migrants from other Latin American countries, according to Arévalo and
Arévalo (2015) "the country has become a preferred destination mainly for Colombian,
Peruvian and Cuban citizens" (p.39).
Different economic events have taken place in the course of Ecuador's history, taking it
into account and relating to it helps to create solutions to economic problems that exist
today. Another important aspect is to learn from the solutions of similar negative
situations in different parts of the world. In this sense, Acosta (2006) argues that:
Thus, since its origins, the economy of the Republic of Ecuador has gone through a series
of periods of boom and crisis, closely linked to the cycles of the central capitalist
economies; a link that is not limited simply to economic relations, but is completed with
all the elements - political, social, cultural - that make up world power. This complex
process gained strength as the capitalist system consolidated and spread and the
Ecuadorian economy became integrated into world trade (p.15).
It is important, then, to know the economic background of Ecuador, and its economic
history as a recipient of population from other countries, and from the other
perspective, to recognize that many Ecuadorians have also been forced to migrate to
other parts of the world for different factors, or to move internally from towns to cities.
This phenomenon began decades ago, as explained by Cáceres and Guzmán (2018):
"however, in the Inca and colonial times people had to leave the lands due to conquests,
wars of independence, catastrophes, epidemics or other events that generate the
transfer of people from one place to another" (p.19).
Acosta (2006) also explains that during the transformation of Ecuador from a colony to
a Republic, multiple wars were fought in order to achieve independence, in this period
Ecuador ended up becoming a base that supported the necessary resources for the war,
being these war events the first articulations with the world economy due to the
external debt that they cause. At the same time, based on the export of primary
products such as cocoa, Ecuador began to integrate into the world market with a great
influence on the English market, after independence from Spain, the Ecuadorian economy
presented few changes (pp.23-24).
Couple (1992) argues that during 1920, with the fall of the New York stock market,
there was a decrease in the price of cocoa, causing a long-term economic collapse.
During the course of 1937, Ecuador was able to have a slow recovery in exports until
1944, when it reached incomes similar to those obtained before the crisis. At the end