Although it is known that returnee entrepreneurs can contribute to technological and economic upgrading in their home countries, there is also evidence of a returnee liability where returnee entrepreneurs perform worse than locals. Apart from mismatches between home and host country institutional environments, this liability is argued to stem from interpersonal factors like cultural difficulties and the diminished social capital of returnees at home. Using interviews exploring the experiences of twenty Nairobi-based technology-enabled returnee entrepreneurs, we theorize the micro-foundations of the returnee liability: mismatched expectations, cultural tension and mutual suspicion. Returnees who sent remittances while abroad expect locals to support their return and entrepreneurial vision, but locals expect continued financial support. Returnees who had become more individualistic while fending for themselves in Western economies experience tension with the collectivism of locals, even while they seek to readjust to their home culture. The suspicion of returnees about unethical local business practices and frustration about locals’' apparent inability to value proposed innovations further complicate the ability of returnees to access local knowledge and networks. We discuss how the community support addresses these micro-foundations of the returnee liability and thus help developing countries better benefit from the knowledge and innovations of their returnees.