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Transnational experience and high-performing entrepreneurs in emerging economies: Evidence from Vietnam

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Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research benefitted from an Economic and Social Research Council ( ESRC ) Impact Acceleration Account research grant, which was administered by King's College London in 2020. Publisher Copyright: © 2021 The Author(s) Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • 1-s2.0-S0160791X21000804-main

    1_s2.0_S0160791X21000804_main.pdf, 559 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:13 May 2021

    Version:Final published version

    Licence:CC BY

King's Authors


Do high-performing entrepreneurs in the technology sector in emerging economies have more, or different, transnational experience than the founders of high-performing non-technology businesses? Employing Vietnam as a case study, we find that they do; the founders of high-performing technology-oriented businesses are 15 times more likely to have transnational experience in the U.S. compared to their non-technology peers, and are 35 times more likely to be graduates of American universities compared to founders of high-performing, non-technology-oriented business. The founders of high-performing non-technology businesses are more ‘place-based’, as they have predominantly lived and studied in Vietnam. Our data and methods are comprised of a logistic regression analysis of the biographical details of Vietnam's 143 highest-performing entrepreneurs; the founders of the 76 Vietnam's (non-technology-based) companies with the highest market capitalizations and the 67 founders of Vietnam's highest performing technology-oriented companies, in terms of private equity fundraising, as of April 2020. The paper's theoretical contribution is the advance it makes in analytical explanations of why technology-based entrepreneurs have more transnational experience, especially in the U.S., than high-performing founders of businesses in other sectors; this helps extend theory on the relationship between social and human capital and entrepreneurial performance, specifically in the technology sector.

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