Drivers for the formation of informal financial associations by immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa: the case of Cameroonians

12 Mar 2018

The sometimes, selective exclusion by the legislation and the financial houses of the host country, force immigrants of African origin to setup stokvels to sustain their businesses and livelihood in South Africa. Aim: To provide the basis for inclusive policy initiatives, this paper investigated the drivers for the formation of business support stokvels by Cameroonians in South Africa. Method: The paper adopted a mix research paradigm with the survey questionnaire and personal interviews as the tools of choice. The purposive sampling technique was implored to reach the 132 respondents. Results: It was apparent that the participants form stokvels to compensate for the lack of access to finance from formal financial intermediaries. The dire need for startup and later expansion capital drove them to form stokvels and even to belong to multiple stokvels as they strive to improve their chances. Beyond this, stokvels provide the platform for the mobilization of savings and the opportunity to run their own bank on their own terms. Implications: while aligned to the Cameroonian community, other minority groups can draw vital lessons. Beyond this, the paper informs the inclusive finance debate and may therefore be relevant to policy makers and academics.