Migrant (family) businesses: Diaspora money flow and interaction between family and business?

“Family businesses are the backbone of the economy,” as Valdet Hadri, who is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Klagenfurt under the supervision of Dieter Bögenhold (Department of Sociology), explains. Valdet Hadri is interested in the unique specificities associated with migrant (family) businesses.

Elaborating on his research related to family and migrant entrepreneurship, he explains: “What place do they occupy in the economy? What form does the interaction between family and business take? Do they send remittances to their countries of origin and what are their motives for doing so? These are just some of the questions I want to find answers to.”

The focus is on Kosovo, where Valdet Hadri lives. He explores two issues in a series of qualitative studies. On the one hand, he wants to investigate why Kosovo migrant entrepreneurs send remittances to Kosovo family enterprises: Is it because they feel obliged? Do they feel sorry for their families? Do they assume they will need something from their families of origin at some point in the future? On the other hand, the entrepreneurship activities among Kosovar migrants in Austria are at the core of Valdet Hadri’s research: Do they operate in specific business areas? Why is this the case? How do traditions and innovations merge in these companies?

Valdet Hadri is currently in the third year of his doctoral studies. A paper centred around a literature review is currently undergoing peer review. Valdet Hadri is being supported within the framework of Young Scientists Mentoring, which also encourages the continuous exchange, and in his case,with his host supervisor Prof. Daniela Bolzani from the University of Bologna.

Valdet`s educational journey is marked by the difficult political situation in his home country and the region: When war broke out in 1999, he had to put his studies on hold for a few years. However, he went on to complete his Bachelor’s degree in “Banking, Finance and Accounting, Economics” and a Master’s degree in “Marketing and Business Management” at the AAB College in Pristina and he has also worked in several EU projects. Since 2019, he has served as the Senior Officer for Budget and Finance Analysis at the Kosovo Assembly. As part of his work, he is responsible for the analysis of Kosovo’s national budget. This is also the source of his research interest: “Around 1.2 billion euros in remittances flew into Kosovo in the last year. These funds play an important role in the economy of my home country. We currently don’t know much about why migrants’ money flows back and we struggle to properly assess the situation of the impact of the remittances”, Valdet Hadri reports.

Valdet Hadri became aware of the University of Klagenfurt while visiting his uncle in Klagenfurt in 2018 thatcame to Austria in the mid-1990s to work here. During the visit with his family, Hadri was attracted to visit the university building – and then looked into the possibility of earning a doctoral degree here. At times, balancing his studies with his own research, job and family can be a challenge for Valdet Hadri. He tells us with a grin: “My wife keeps asking, ‘Aren’t you almost done yet?’” He knows that he wants, to continue spending time on research after completing his doctorate because: “It’s always fun to do something new”.

A few words with … Valdet Hadri

What motivates you to work in science?
Curiosity about specific issues, confidence as a sense of competence and challenge that there is something to work toward.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
Usually in the morning we have coffee with my colleagues before work, and on the weekends we go out with the family

Do you have proper holidays? Without thinking about your work?
Yes, we do really have proper holidays as a family at least twice a year

Who do you regard as the greatest scientist in history, and why?
Albert Einstein and his remark “If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solutions.

What makes you furious?
Usually, when people are not treated properly, especially when they are foreigners and are not treated as the natives which unfortunately have happened to me.

And what calms you down?
Spending time with family, my wife and two kids

What are you afraid of?
Maybe about losing the freedom or any pandemic/emergency situation

What are you looking forward to?
Looking forward to the next holidays with the family