Original Research

Assessing immigrant entrepreneur’s contribution to entrepreneurial development: A case of small retailers in the Mangaung, Free State province

Lebohang Y. Moloi, Lentswe Mosweunyane, Crispen Chipunza
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 14, No 1 | a440 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v14i1.440 | © 2022 Lebohang Y. Moloi, Lentswe Mosweunyane, Crispen Chipunza | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2021 | Published: 28 April 2022

About the author(s)

Lebohang Y. Moloi, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Lentswe Mosweunyane, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Crispen Chipunza, Department of Business Support Studies, Faculty of Management Sciences, Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Despite numerous training programmes by the South African (SA) government equipping citizens with entrepreneurial skills to create businesses for economic development. The country still faces a high rate of liquidation of businesses leading to unemployment.

Aim: This article mainly aimed to assess immigrant entrepreneurs’ contribution to entrepreneurial development in the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM).

Setting: The study focuses on the role that skilled immigrant entrepreneurs play in entrepreneurial development in MMM through Human Capital theory.

Methods: Drawing on interpretivist paradigm, the study adopted empirical stance and qualitative approach. A total of 20 participants’ immigrant entrepreneurs and employees from small retailers in MMM were interviewed. Data collected were analysed using the Burnard’s (1991) stage-by-stage method of the semi-structured interviews. Content analysis was used to analyse data collected. Whilst thematic analysis was employed to analyse the data obtained from the face-to-face interviews.

Results: Although immigrant entrepreneurs were using their resources to share expertise and experience, most of their employees were not willing to learn. Immigrant entrepreneurs considered government support as a valuable tool when seeking to understand their contribution to developing the citizens. Accordingly, the results demonstrated that entrepreneurial skills transfer via in-store training influenced local citizens’ entrepreneurial mindset and decision to start businesses. The findings also revealed that immigrant businesses might play a critical role in solving entrepreneurial development of SA as government funding was considered to be a tool for skills transfer and entrepreneurial growth.

Conclusion: Whilst most studies investigated immigrant-citizen’s entrepreneurial skills transfer process, little attention was given to possible entrepreneurial development mechanisms through business collaboration. The study concludes that human capital in the form of skilled labour has a positive effect on entrepreneurial development. This informs policymakers to prioritise the upskilling of the workforce and contributes towards value-generating economic activities.


Keywords

SMME’s; immigrant entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial skills; entrepreneurial development; collaboration, and government support

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Crossref Citations

1. Exploring the opportunities and challenges encountered by immigrant entrepreneurs in Eastern Cape Province Towns
Jane Akusoba
International Journal of Research in Business and Social Science (2147- 4478)  vol: 13  issue: 1  first page: 47  year: 2024  
doi: 10.20525/ijrbs.v13i1.3031