Financing the start-up and operation of immigrantowned businesses: The path taken by African immigrants in the Cape Town metropolitan area of South Africa

African Journal of Business Management 6 (12):4666-4676 (2012)
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Drawing a sample of 135 successful African immigrant-owned businesses, this paper sets out to investigate how their owners acquired the necessary capital for start-up and growth thereafter. The paper was designed within the quantitative and qualitative research paradigms, in which a triangulation of three methods was utilised to collect and analyze the data. The paper revealed that although African immigrants are characteristically at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing capital from formal financial institutions, this does not stop them from pursuing entrepreneurial activities. At the start-up stage, they typically resort to personal savings, business credit, family credit, and loans from informal financial institutions. According to the ability to raise capital, we found that a varying range of start-up capital was utilised, which tended to vary across the different ethnic groups studied. Once started, we found that the sources of additional finance available to these immigrants did not change significantly. They conventionally turned to friends, co-ethnics and self-help financial associations to ‘feed’ their need for further funding.

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Robertson K. Tengeh
Cape Peninsula University of Technology


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