Rise of the Expat-preneur [Infographic]

Sophie Bell-Rhone https://www.aetnainternational.com 4m 892 #expat-preneur

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The Daring International Entrepreneur


Driven by a desire to switch the office for a laptop on a beach, to escape a humdrum home nation, or to relocate for a loved one, more and more of us are choosing to up sticks and work abroad. International companies now find 58% of their revenue outside of the country of their headquarters, and increased connectivity and language skills make the move overseas feel a lot less daunting than it was for our parents’ generation.

Expat organization InterNations recently completed a massive survey of nearly 15,000 ‘expat-preneurs’ – covering 170 nationalities and 195 destinations – to give us a clearer idea of who’s going where and why. The urge (or the ability) to move tends not to hit us until our mid-twenties, they found, although from that point until our fifties the chances of moving remain pretty consistent. One-fifth of working expats go with no precise plan of when they will come back – this is reflected by the fact that one in ten go for the adventure, and a further one in ten go for love.

Climate may play a major part in the decision to emigrate – and where to go. Three of the top ten destinations are in Latin America, while Asia and Australia together account for another four. Visitors to Ecuador and Mexico cite the prices and pace of life as the key draw, whereas Malta, the leading European destination, can thanks its thriving igaming industry. Over 20% of expats in Malta are working in the IT and gaming sector.

Whether it’s love, business or wanderlust that gets you on the move, your outsider’s perspective can be highly valuable to international companies, and the diverse teams that emerge from such set-ups are capable of collaborating towards new solutions that would not have been found alone. If this sounds like the kind of environment you’d thrive in, check out this new infographic, which looks further into InterNations’ research. Let the adventure commence!

Rise of the Expat-preneur [Infographic]

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Coined by academic and author Dr. Yvonne McNulty, ‘expat-preneur’ refers to those brave (or crazy) enough to up sticks and seek new opportunities abroad.

With international companies generating 58% of their revenue outside the country of their headquarters, it’s no wonder we’re seeing more and more of these ambitious individuals.


Who are they?

There’s no typical profile when it comes to an expat-preneur – diversity is the name of the game. But rather than taking the traditional route of corporate-relocation, or expanding existing businesses, these expat-preneurs are moving for a higher quality of life and to be close to new partners, and then spotting new market opportunities.

In an attempt to profile the ‘average’ expat, InterNations surveyed 14,388 expatriates representing 170 nationalities and 195 countries of residence or overseas territories.

  • 47% Male
  • 53% Female
  • 38% Single
  • 62% Relationship

42 average weekly working hours

41 average age

Age groups

  • <25 6%
  • 26-30 18%
  • 31-35 18%
  • 36-40 14%
  • 41-50 22%
  • >51 22%

Planned length of stay (years)

  • <1 5%
  • 1-3 19%
  • 3-5 14%
  • >5 16%
  • Possibly forever 25%
  • Undecided 21%

Where they’re making it big

Successful expat-preneurs know there’s more to a destination than the financial opportunities – quality of life, ease of settling and cost of all factor highly.

Top 10 countries:

  1. Ecuador
  2. Mexico
  3. Malta
  4. Singapore
  5. Luxembourg
  6. New Zealand
  7. Thaliand
  8. Panama
  9. Canada
  10. Australia


Expats love the quality of life, cost of living, and abundance of leisure activities available.

Top expat industries by employment:

  • Education, research, and translation 26%
  • Service industry and tourism 17%


Ranks highly for its ease of welcoming expats into the local culture and low cost of living.

Top expat industries by employment:

  • Education, research, and translation 17%
  • Business services and consultants 13%


Job satisfaction, career prospects, and a good work-life balance all make Malta an attractive prospect.

Top expat industries by employment:

  • IT and gaming 22%
  • Service industry and tourism 13%

Why they’re taking the risk

A 2014 study found that:

  • 14% found own job abroad or were relocated by employer


Some expat-preneurs simply want to move abroad and take risks not available at home.


Whether they’re pursuing a relationship or leaving one, it’s often about seeking new horizons.

  • 10% wanted to live in a partner’s home country / moved for a loved one


Adventure is a strong factor at the core of the expat-preneur’s rise; looking for something new and exciting to make their own.

Moved for a better quality of life

  • 9% looking for an adventure / personal challenge or moved for partner’s job or education

How they’re making it happen

Successful expat-preneurs are taking a calculated risk; they leave nothing to chance and use all of the tools at their disposal.


Improved communication and ease of working on the go have benefited those looking to set up abroad.


Coming from outside the local business culture, expat-preneurs are able to critically assess market needs and new opportunities.


The combination of an outsider’s viewpoint and insider knowledge is crucial in becoming a long-term success.


By bridging the divide, expat-preneurs are able to see and take advantage of untapped potential where opportunities are strongest.

While fruitful endeavors drive many expat-preneurs aboard, an increasing number of moves stem from a lifestyle choice – making the best of both worlds.

If you’re looking for a land of opportunity, there’s never been a better time to make the leap.

Source: https://www.aetnainternational.com/en/about-us/explore/lifestyle/expat-preneur-infographic.html



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