Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are viewed as proactive global economic actors that enter new and emerging markets with intentional strategies, building on their inherent resources and firm-specific advantages. However, an international joint venture involves numerous actors in the market entry process. While emerging markets tend to feature complex institutional contexts and idiographic entry challenges, our study with a focus on emerging market presents two under-examined types of stakeholders as distinct social actors’ that affect internationalisation process: the transnational diaspora and civil society actors. It provides evidence of the reactive internationalisation of an MNE, showing how the transnational diaspora drove the MNE’s internationalisation and how a civil society actor, in conjunction with a diaspora member, facilitated the creation of an international joint venture (IJV) in Bangladesh. This case study analyses and describes the stages of development, documenting how Norwegian Telenor, American Gonophone, Japanese Marubeni and Bangladeshi Grameen Bank created an IJV named Grameenphone in Bangladesh, and how diaspora and civil society actors made up the prime movers and organisational capability base for this process, which would not have happened without their market-driving and enabling influence. The findings illustrate the central role of transnational diaspora entrepreneurship and the related innovation, motivation, contextual intelligence, networking and funding that supported this emerging-market IJV development. The study contributes to research on international joint ventures, transnational diaspora entrepreneurship and civil society actors and the internationalisation of MNEs.