Sources of entrepreneurial opportunities explored by African immigrant entrepreneurs in South Africa

12 Mar 2018

Aim: Underscoring the xenophobic violence that has befallen African immigrants in South Africa in the recent past is the perception held in certain quarters that African immigrants take away entrepreneurial opportunities among others from the Natives. This paper sought to determine how African immigrant entrepreneurs identify business opportunities in South Africa in tandem with what South African entrepreneurs could learn from African immigrants. Method: The paper was based on quantitative data from 220 participants collected by way of a semi-structured questionnaire. As such, the study benefited from the qualitative insights associated with the use open-ended questions in the questionnaire. The data was analyzed using version 24 of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results: suggest that African immigrants uncover entrepreneurial opportunities through: startup partners, previous employment, families, through ethnic networks, prior knowledge of the market need, prior knowledge of how to serve the market and prior knowledge of the challenges serving the market. Value/Contribution: this study is premised on the fact that no previous study has attempted to investigate how immigrants identify business opportunities, in tandem with what South African entrepreneurs could learn from African immigrants. Implications: Considering the close parallel between African immigrants and the indigenous black South Africans, it is to be hoped that the study would be of interest to the latter in particular, policy makers and academics in general.