A Framework for Acquiring the Resources Vital for the Start-up of a Business in South Africa: an African Immigrant’s Perspective

European Journal of Social Sciences 23 ( 3):362-381 (2011)
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Abstract
Using a triangulation of three methods, we devise a framework for the acquisition of the resources vital for the start-up of a business in South Africa. Against the backdrop of the fact that numerous challenges prohibit African immigrants from starting a business, let alone growing the business, we set out to investigate how those who succeed acquired the necessary resources. Within the quantitative paradigm, the survey questionnaire was used to collect and analyze the data. To complement the quantitative approach, personal interviews and focus groups were utilised as the methods within the qualitative approach paradigm. The research revealed that an African immigrant entrepreneur is most likely to be a male between the ages of 19 and 41 who has been forced to immigrate by political circumstances. Once in South Africa, limited job opportunities forced these immigrants into starting up a business. In order of importance, financial, informational, human and physical, resources were identified as being critical for the start-up a business. With respect to the acquisition of resources, African immigrant entrepreneurs unwillingly made use of personal savings to finance their businesses during the start-up phase of the business. Financial resource played a double role in that it determined the main sources of physical resources used. From a human resource perspective, African immigrant entrepreneurs preferred employing South Africans during the start-up phase of the business, and the reverse was true during the growth phase. To a limited extent family labour was involved at both the start-up as well as the operation phases of the business; with formal education and prior experience playing an indirect role as far as the human resources mixed were concerned. In terms of information, African immigrant entrepreneurs made use of two primary sources of information namely; their ethnic networks and friends from somewhere else.
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